‘Paedophile cannibal’ and 12-year-old girl axed man to death before cooking and eating his brain

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A Russian cannibal pedophile and his 12-year-old “girlfriend” have been arrested for axing a man to death and eating his body parts afterwards. The victim, Alexander Popovich, 21, was living with the accused and his girlfriend outside of St. Petersburg. The 12-year-old child told police officers she had stabbed the man – in whose flat they were lodging – after he went to bed. She then opened his abdomen with a knife because she ‘always wanted to see what was inside there’.

Police said the 22-year-old accused, Arkady Zverev, likely groomed his girlfriend to be a willing participant in the crime. The girlfriend, identified only as Valerie, is a runaway, who had previously been reported missing. The police said she looked like she was 15 or 16 years old.

She posted the following message on social media before she went missing 10 days from her home 2,400 km away: “I love one stalker. I won’t give him away to anyone, he is only mine. I do not need anybody else.”

The police said the Zverev admitted to being sexually involved with the girl. They added that the duo were found cooking the head of the victim in the oven when the police found him. The accused and his girlfriend told the police that they “cooked the brains” of Popovich because “there was nothing else to eat.” The girl told investigators that Popovich’s heart was ‘too sweet’.

Popovich’s body — minus the head and arms — were discovered by his brother under a white sheet. The dead man had been disemboweled.

“The contents of the frying pan did not look like the fresh meat found at a supermarket,” the police said.

Popovich’s brother told reporters: “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 a panic. My only thought was – please don’t let it be him.”

The girl is below the age of criminal responsibility in Russia and is in care at the Centre for Underage Criminals of St Petersburg. Zverev on the other hand, faces 25 years in prison on murder and sex crimes charges.