DNA evidence allegedly showed that the killer was a 51-year-old ex-police worker who had already been arrest for the murders but released over 10 years ago due to lack of evidence. However, new advances in forensic technology enabled detectives to re-arrest the man, police said.

After an 18-year murder hunt, the suspect has been brought to justice for the brutal murders of at least 17 prostitutes. Detectives believe that there may be many more in Novosibirsk, in the southern area of Russia.

The name of the suspect has not yet been named although it is thought that he was employed in a police call centre. After leaving the police, he worked as a cab driver and during this time was accused of killing the prostitutes.

Neighbours of the accused describe him as being happily married, a poodle breeder and a member of a local homeowners' association. Characterised as a "very nice person", the unnamed man is alleged to have paid his victims for sex, dismembering them and cutting up their bodies before hiding them in landfill sites.

It's believed that all of the victims all had long hair and were between 19 and 30 years of age. They were all prostitutes and many of them were drug addicts.

The suspect who is in police custody, is said to have painted occult signs and pentagrams on the victims' body with their own blood. Satanic symbols, arrows and amulets were also found at the crime scenes.

In the course of the police investigation, detectives interviewed more than 5,000 men and tested for their DNA before finally identified him through a positive DNA match, according to a Mirror report. The man is still being questioned by police to prepare their case against him.

One unanswered question is why the Russian Ripper stopped his killing spree. Police had formulated a theory that he might have moved to another city and continued with the murders.