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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Altar boy hunt after Italy murder
Police in northern Italy are searching for a Sri Lankan altar boy they want to question about a killing of a 23-year-old woman at his church.

The body was found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed behind a disused pulpit at the church in Brescia.

The victim, Elena Lonati, disappeared after going to the church on Friday.

The altar boy reportedly told relatives that the woman had hit her head during a row sparked by her refusal to leave the church so he could lock up.

The altar boy was identified in the Italian media as Wimal Chamila Ponnamperumage.

On Saturday, police carried out a limited search while services were in progress in the Santa Maria church, but it was not until that evening that the body was found.

Police say the woman was alive when she was wrapped in plastic.

A post-mortem examination is being carried out to determine if she was strangled.

Country profile: Italy
27 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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