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Fire-starter bear leads police to murder victim

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Fire-starter bear leads police to murder victim
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12:39 CEST+02:00

At the scene of a fire, started when a bear knocked a tree into an electricity pylon, police found a near-naked dead body on the border between Austria and Switzerland.

The police were using binoculars to keep a look out for the bear, dubbed M13 by the Swiss authorities, as they worked to put out the fire. Instead, they spotted a body, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

“We do not know much yet about the dead person. But it’s clear we are dealing with a murder,” Walter Pupp from the Tyrolean State Office for Criminal Investigations told Austrian newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung.

The victim was a man aged between 30 and 40 years old, wearing nothing but a pair of underpants. Forensic medical experts from Innsbruck believe that the man may have been killed by a blow to the head by a blunt object. There were also signs of violence around the neck.

Austrian and Swiss police will work together because of the proximity of the body to the border between the two countries. Neither force has yet been able to identify the body of the victim.

It is thought that the man may have been lying there for three of four days before he was discovered. Pupp told the media on Thursday that it is unlikely that the man was killed where he was found.

Just two weeks ago, the young brown bear was tagged with a tracking device after stealing honey and mauling a goat in Switzerland.

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