A young couple allegedly strangled their flatmate, and transported her body 250 miles in a suitcase to Venice lagoon, after she refused their sexual advances.
The naked body of 29-year-old Mahtab Savoji, an Iranian who was studying costume design in Milan, was found in luggage floating near the Venetian Lido last week.
Indian couple Gagandeep Kaur, 30 and Rajeshwar Singh 28, who shared a room with the Iranian in Milan, have now been arrested in connection with the murder.
The hotel workers allegedly dumped the body during an extraordinary 20-hour, 400 mile round trip to Venice riding on three trains and a vaporetto with the suitcase.
Alessandro Giuliano, head of Milan's top crime squad, said that the flatmates had quickly come under suspicion because of their contradictory accounts.
The pair claim they found the student's body and panicked - putting it in a suitcase and taking it on a 400-mile trip to Venice
Initially they said they had seen her alive on Monday morning.
Then they said they found her in her room dead, panicked and put her in a suitcase.
They first tried to dispose of the body in Lake Como, in Lecco, but were unable to do so because there were people around.
So they took a train back to Milan, took the train to Venice, then a vaporetto to the Lido where they certainly abandoned the body.
They were captured on CCTV arriving in Venice with the suitcase, police say, discarding the body before taking a Euro 500 taxi ride back to Milan.
Police are working on the theory that the murder was the result of the student rejecting unwelcome sexual approaches by the couple.
Mr. Singh had allegedly made sexual advances to Miss Savoji previously and she was due to move out on the day she was found dead, having told friends she was not getting along with her roommates.
The body surfaced within hours of its disposal, but took police six days to identify.
A postmortem revealed that Miss Savoji died of asphyxiation.
There was no water in her lungs signaling to investigators that the University of Brera student must have been killed before she arrived in the canal.
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