Nimes, France - Police in southern France on Friday launched a hunt for a killer who “slaughtered” a mother of three while she was out jogging in the popular tourist town of Nimes.

The semi-clothed body of the woman was found on Thursday evening after her children's school alerted her partner that she had failed to pick them up.

A box cutter-style knife and two blood-stained stones were found nearby and are thought to have been the murder weapons. “She was slaughtered,” a source close to the investigation told AFP.

Laure Beccuau, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, said the woman had suffered multiple stab wounds and other injuries. An autopsy on Monday will establish the exact cause of death.

The victim, whose name was not released, had three children, aged 3, 6 and 9.

A housewife of Tunisian heritage, she regularly went running in the afternoon on tracks in Courbessac, a peaceful residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Nimes, which is famous for its amphitheatre and other Roman remains. - Sapa-AFP