A suspected 'paedophile cannibal' has been detained in Russia accused of axing a 21-year-old man to death then cooking and eating his body parts.
Detained with him was a 12-year-old girl, who is accused of taking part in the murder and dismembering of the body.
The 22-year-old suspect admitted a sexual relationship with the child, who he described as his 'girlfriend', potentially a victim of online grooming.
She had been reported missing by her parents ten days earlier in her home city of Sochi some 1,500 miles away, say police.
The unnamed pair had 'cooked the brains' of householder Alexander Popovich whose severed head was found in the oven of an apartment in Novinka village, 60 miles from St Petersburg, where the victim lived.
A shocking video released by the Russian Investigative Committee - in charge of probing serious crime - showed the messy bloodstained ground floor flat and the victim's body parts covered in a white quilt.
When the runaway girl was reported missing ten days ago, she was described as looking older than her age, around 15 or 16.
It is unknown how and where she met the axeman but she posted a message on her social media saying: 'I love one stalker.
'I won't give him away to anyone, he is only mine. I do not need anybody else.'
A report in the macabre killing by Russian police stated: 'A man and an underage girl are suspected of the cruel murder and dismembering a 21-year-old citizen of Novinka village of Leningrad region.
'The investigators are also checking the information about suspects eating body parts of the killed man.'
The man and girl told police: 'There was nothing else to eat.'
Police said the the man had been beheaded and his arms were cut off.
Axe wounds were visible on his chest and parts of his heart and abdominal organs had been removed. An axe was found near the body.
'The contents of the frying pan did not look like the fresh meat found at a supermarket,' said one officer.
The pair were detained after they tried to set the flat on fire, according to police.
The pair were living with the victim in his flat as lodgers, it was reported.
Neighbours saw smoke then the alleged killers climbing out of a window of the flat in a wooden village house.
The victim's brother said: 'I climbed inside through a window.
'It was a mess there, as if the apartment had been robbed. Then I saw something covered with a blanket and in blood.
'I did not know it was him, I rushed out. I was in panic. My only thought was – please don't let it be him.
'I called a neighbour, and he forced open the door. With two neighbours, a man and a woman, we got inside. I immediately understood that it was my brother there.'
The suspected paedophile axeman told police that the 12 year old was his 'girlfriend' and he admitted they had sexual relations.
The detained man will face charges of murder and dismembering the body, with a maximum 15 years in jail.
Police say he was also be tried for having sex with an underage child, which carries a ten year maximum sentence.
The girl is under the age of criminal responsibility in Russia.
She has been put into care at the Centre for Underage Criminals of St Petersburg.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.