A bypasser stumbled upon a young woman’s body, handcuffed and partly burned, in a wood in Chantilly, north of the capital, on Saturday, said the deputy state prosecutor for Senlis, Etienne Legarigue de Survilliers.
The victim had been badly beaten and was killed by a knife blow to the neck, but was apparently not sexually assaulted, according to a post-mortem examination.
Officials believe her killer set fire to the body in a bid to destroy evidence.
The Swedish embassy in France said the parents of a student who went missing after a night out in Paris on Friday were in France to identify the body.
According to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the missing young woman was studying French at the Sorbonne, working part-time in a cafe and living in a shared flat in Paris.