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Murder-suicide suspected after severed head found in Austrian lake

A woman’s severed head, encased in concrete, has been found lying next to a man’s body at the bottom of an Austrian lake, in what authorities said on Tuesday appeared to be a case of murder and suicide.

Police and residents found the remains near the shore of the Traunsee in central Austria.

The hands of the man, whose body showed no signs of struggle, were tied to bags containing rocks as well as personal belongings.

“This makes us primarily think of an ‘extended suicide’,” a prosecutor for the nearby town of Wels, Birgit Ahamer, told a news conference, adding that initial forensic examinations suggested the woman had been strangled and the man had drowned.

The head of the woman, who was between 50 and 70 years old, was discovered after forensic experts in the city of Salzburg broke open a concrete block found in a bag on the lakebed.

Police said they could not yet identify the bodies.

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