06/06/2012 09:21 EDT | Updated 08/06/2012 05:12 EDT

Body parts in Vancouver were accompanied by notes: Montreal police

MONTREAL - Police have revealed that body parts mailed to Vancouver schools were accompanied by notes — although they wouldn't elaborate on their content Wednesday.


Montreal police confirmed they had taken over an investigation into the packages mailed to British Columbia, thought to be linked to a dismemberment case that has attracted international attention.

Two hands, two feet and a torso have turned up in different cities over the last week. Montreal police said they are working to find the missing head.

The suspected killer, former porn actor and prostitute Luka Rocco Magnotta, is in a German prison awaiting extradition back to Canada.

Police said the packages sent to Vancouver were accompanied by messages, as were packages received in Ottawa last week.

"There are some notes from the beginning, from the first package that we found in Ottawa," said Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere.

"What was written on the notes, we kept that for ourselves."

He said police would be selective about the information they released because they didn't want to encourage any copycats.

Meanwhile, the parts from a still-unidentified victim were being transported by Vancouver police back to the city from which they were mailed — Montreal.

Police were seeking to confirm the identity of the victim. They were also working to determine whether Magnotta had any personal connection to Vancouver.

"Our suspect travelled extensively," Lafreniere said.

"We know he's travelled to the American West Coast. (We're now investigating), has he been to the Canadian West Coast?"

He also commented on a bizarre incident that occurred in Montreal on Wednesday morning.

For a moment, there was frenzied speculation that yet another human limb had been discovered. A passerby noticed what looked like a severed human foot sitting by a sidewalk in Montreal's west end, near the neighbourhood where Magnotta is accused of killing and dismembering a victim, Jun Lin.

The source of that momentary panic? It turned out to be a rubber foot.

Montreal police originally confirmed — erroneously, as it turned out — that the limb was human. This would have been the third severed foot found in Canada this week, prompting fears that there might have been a second victim of a similar crime.

Police quickly corrected themselves.

They said they were duped by something that appeared real — like an object from a Halloween store. Montreal police spokesman Yannick Ouimet said it was so lifelike that homicide detectives were called to the scene.

"Police officers on the scene thought it was a foot, so I guess the look was good," Montreal police spokesman Yannick Ouimet said in an interview.

"Obviously, not a good joke to make at this time of year."

Police said the rubber-limb incident might warrant a criminal mischief charge.