Limoges Firefighters responding to a house fire in central France found the dismembered body of an 83-year-old woman in her freezer on New Year's Day, sources close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday.
The woman's grandson, in his 30s, was questioned at the scene and detained pending further investigations.
The fire brigade said it was called on Wednesday evening to a house in an isolated hamlet in the Haute-Vienne department of France.
They managed to put out a fire, which was contained to a single room, but were at first unable to find any occupants in the house.
Firefighters and police searched the property and found the mutilated corpse of the 83-year-old in the freezer, one source with knowledge of the investigation said.
The grandson, who was at the house, made conflicting statements to police, a second source said.
A post mortem examination will be carried out as part of the investigation.