Belgian day care suspect linked to other stabbing

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- A man accused in a deadly stabbing spree at a Belgian day care center is also thought to have killed an elderly woman earlier this month and had plans on him to attack two more nurseries, a prosecutor said Monday.

Christian Du Four said police now believe the man they are holding in Friday's day care massacre in Dendermonde may also have fatally stabbed a 73-year-old woman on Jan. 16 who lived nearby.

"There are very clear indications of links between the murders in Dendermonde and the death of the elderly woman," said Du Four.

Investigators had been unable to find a motive for the woman's killing.

On Friday, a knife-wielding man killed two babies - a 9-month-old girl and a 6-month-old boy - and a caregiver at the Fairytaleland day care center in Dendermonde, a town 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Brussels. He also seriously wounded 12 others, including 10 young children.

Suspect Kim De Gelder, 20, calmly rode his bike away from the scene and was arrested at a nearby supermarket. Witnesses in the elderly woman's stabbing case said they also saw a man calmly cycling away into the night.

Authorities say the suspect is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

When the suspect attacked the center Friday, witnesses said he had painted his face white and his eyes black like the deranged "Joker" character in the latest "Batman" movie. Du Four said when the suspect was detained, police found a knife, an ax and more makeup on him, as well as detailed plans of two more day care centers in Dendermonde.

Newspapers carried full-page pictures of a thin, longhaired suspect looking straight into the lens with an angelic smile.

Day care centers and schools reopened for a new week Monday but many parents were still anxious.

A hearing for the suspect was scheduled for Tuesday. He was charged with three counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder on the basis of identifications by witnesses at the day care center.

The prosecutor's office said they still had no motive for the day care center attack.

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