A German pensioner strangled his wife, dismembered her body and drowned himself in a lake in Austria by tying himself to a concrete block with her severed head encased inside.

The pair were later identified as a couple in their 70s, from Frankfurt, west Germany, Austrian authorities said.

The husband was discovered two days after police found two suitcases containing the woman's dismembered body near the shore of Lake Traunsee, central Austria.

Authorities said on Tuesday that evidence suggests the man strangled the woman and dismembered her body before drowning himself using the concrete block with her head in.

Police first discovered the woman's dismembered body on Sunday, when a local resident found a floating suitcase by the shore near the town of Gmunden, 50 miles east of Salzburg.

The witness opened the suitcase to discover that it contained bodyparts and called the police who began to search the area.

Police found the second suitcase with the woman's remains on Monday, but were unable to identify her as her head was missing.

After extending the search, police divers found the man's body at the bottom of Lake Traunsee, his body tied to several suitcases.

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

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 one of the bags on the lakebed.

'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.

Police said they could not yet identify the bodies.

Source: Daily mail