img_3699Police on Friday arrested a suspect in the fatal knife attack on a woman at a retirement home for Catholic missionaries in southern France after a vast manhunt, authorities said.

The 47-year-old suspect — with no apparent links to Islamist extremism — was arrested about 100 meters (yards) from his home in a town not far from the scene of the attack on Thursday night, a gendarmerie press official said.

The official said reports that the suspect was a former member of the French military had not yet been confirmed, adding that investigators had uncovered information that contradicted a past military link. The suspect was not identified by name in keeping with French custom.

A masked intruder tied up two women at the retirement home for former missionaries in Africa. One of the women managed to call police, who found the victim, a 54-year-old employee, bound and tied up outside the building with three stab wounds, prosecutor Christophe Barret told a news conference before the arrest.

Barret said the suspect was believed to be someone “in the entourage of this retirement home.”


A car found near the retirement residence helped identify the suspect, the prosecutor said, adding that an air gun and other elements were found inside the vehicle.

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