Police in France say DNA recovered from a crime scene where a mother-of-three was stabbed to death matches that of a British suspect.
A search was launched after Joudia Zimmat, 34, failed to collect her three-year-old daughter from school in Nimes.
Police sniffer dogs later discovered her body, and police believe she was sexually assaulted while out jogging, repeatedly hit around the face, and so brutally stabbed she was unrecognisable.
British man Robert Plant, 32, was arrested after police carried out house-to-house enquiries.
He is thought to have moved from Chatham in Kent, to France a decade ago.
Police are confident they have a DNA match with the suspect.
Nimes deputy prosecutor Stephane Bertrand said: "We compared the genetic profile with the evidence found at the scene, and the results were a match.
"His DNA corresponds with the objects recovered from the crime scene."
A friend, who gave his name as Michael, said: "We saw that he’d got scratches on him, but we couldn’t understand why. I can't really say much more, I just don't know what has gone on."
Mr Plant's mother, a wealthy widow, was also arrested after allegedly giving false details of her son's whereabouts, but was later released.
Mr Plant remains in custody.