The body of 71-year-old Alfred Gadenne — the mayor of the western industrial town of Mouscron — was discovered after he failed to return Monday from the cemetery, where he was a caretaker and locked the gates each night, according to Belgian media, citing the public prosecutor. A Mouscron police secretary confirmed the details to CNN.
A suspect surrendered to police at the scene, first deputy prosecutor Frederic Bariseau said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The suspect, who has not been named, was holding a “cutter” in his hand when he was apprehended, although officials have yet to confirm it was the weapon used to kill Gadenne, Bariseau said.
Police believe the suspect’s motive may have been vengeance, Bariseau said, without providing further details. He will be designated a psychiatrist to determine whether he is responsible for his actions, officials said.
Gadenne’s death has shocked the country, with the Prime Minister expressing his horror at the “brutal” killing.
“It was with alarm and sadness that I learned of Alfred Gadenne’s brutal death. All my thoughts go to his family and friends,” Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted on Monday.