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Cyprus Lake

Court issues fresh remand against self-confessed serial killer

The Nicosia district court on  Monday issued a fresh remand order against 35-year-old suspected serial killer Nikos Metaxas to allow police to continue investigations into premeditated murder, kidnapping, and rape.

The 35-year-old, who appeared before the court once again without a lawyer, was escorted by members of the counter-terrorism unit.

Requesting a fresh remand order, lead investigator Ioannis Yiorkadjis outlined the progress of the continuing investigation into multiple crimes connected with the suspect, which involve the murder of seven victims and one rape charge.

So far, police have taken 450 statements and collected 355 pieces of evidence. Some 100 additional statements remain to be collected, Yiorkadjis said. Police have also found a third car belonging to the 35-year-old, which he used in 2016. Authorities have also tracked down where the suspect found the cement blocks used to weigh down the body-containing suitcases into the red lake in Mitsero.

Yiorkadjis added that police are continuing investigations into Metaxas’ phone data, as well as into the allegation of rape of a Filipino woman in 2017, which the 35-year-old denied. In a previous hearing, Yiorkadjis had told the court that Metaxas handed police a 10-page handwritten confession, outlining six murders, five women and one child aged eight. He denied killing a second child, six, claiming she had choked on her own vomit.

Five bodies have so far been found at three locations, including a mine shaft in Mitsero, a toxic red lake near the mine, and a firing range in Orounta. On May 5, the second out of the three bodies that Metaxas told police he dumped in the red lake in suitcases was found by search crews.

The UK-based Cypriot state pathologist Andreas Marnerides, who was among the five-member team of British experts who had assisted in the investigations earlier in the month, participated in the post-mortem that was conducted on the retrieved body along with two other local state pathologists on Monday.

The body is believed to be eight-year-old Elena Natalia, daughter of Livia Florentina, 36, from Romania, whose body is believed to be that retrieved from the red lake on April 28.

Tissue was taken for histopathological examinations at the time while the post mortem will be continued at a later stage, police said.

Search crews continued scouring the red lake on Monday for a third suitcase, believed to contain 30-year-old Marricar Valdez Arguiola from the Philippines. The search for the suitcase ended unsuccessfully on Sunday, reportedly due to the limited visibility in the waters of the red lake as a result of the waist-high mud.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, should search crews fail to locate the third suitcase on Monday, the search will continue with an additional diver, as only one has entered the lake so far.

The sonar technology is also expected to return to the USA on Tuesday, as it has already provided search crews with underwater scans of both the red lake and Memi lake in the Xyliatos reservoir area, where Metaxas told police he dumped the body of six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, which has yet to be found.

Sierra is the daughter of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 39, from the Philippines, whose body was the first of Metaxas’ victims to be found on April 14 in the Mitsero mine shaft. Mother and daughter Sierra went missing last May.

Last week, fire chief Marcos Trangolas announced that should the current search strategy fail to locate the two remaining bodies, a ground penetrating radar will be employed.

COMMENT

“The 35-year-old, who appeared before the court once again without a lawyer, was escorted by members of the counter-terrorism unit.”

This is worrying, whether he wants a solicitor or not, they are gathering too much without adequate legal representation. I don’t think people realise how important that is, because they may be setting themselves up for a shock.

The importance of good legal representation for the accused is to ensure that the prosecution is forced to prove their case, bare in mind that the burden of proof lays with the prosecution. In this instance, he should have been assigned the BEST legal representation possible, not to get him off, but to ensure that every step of the way, the prosecution is forced to account for their case and that every shred of evidence is gathered in accordance with the law and presented in accordance of the law, to ensure a safe conviction.

If this is not done, there could be a terrible shock down the road in the ECHR and for those who think otherwise, confessions CAN be revoked, they CAN be discredited and they CAN be thrown out. I just hope that in their hast to cover up their incompetence and negligence, that they do not end up with an unsafe conviction and rest assured, that despite the overwhelming evidence that we believe that they have, anything is possible if the case is not watertight….and they are dealing with PSYCHOPATH, I still wonder, is he confessing or misleading? I’m still not convinced.

Cyprus’ new police chief apologizes over serial killer case

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ new police chief has apologized to the families of seven foreign women and girls who an army captain has confessed to killing. Kypros Michailides said at a ceremony Tuesday to mark his appointment that he offered the apology because police had failed to protect the victims.

He said those who failed will be held accountable.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades fired Michaelides’ predecessor over the “negligence” of some officers. Police have been accused of failing to properly investigate initial missing persons’ reports.

Divers are continuing with a search of a body the suspect says he dumped in a toxic lake. On Sunday, search crews found a small suitcase that authorities believe contained the remains of an eight year-old girl.

 

COMMENT

It is about time that that official took responsibility for what may well be the greatest act of negligence since the Mari explosion. These women were reported missing and nobody did a thing!

Who were they reported to? Who decided to ignore the report of the missing women? Why have it taken such a tragedy to highlight the incompetence of the Cypriot Police force?

Police search mine for traces of murder victim’s daughter, suspect remanded

Authorities on Wednesday were searching a mine in Mitsero for traces of a six-year-old girl whose mother was found dead there, in a well on Sunday, apparently murdered. Fire service personnel used cameras to search the water-filled well where the mother was found accidentally by a photographer taking pictures of the area.

The body had been bound and wrapped in a sheet before it was dumped in the 130-metre deep well. It is understood that the heavy rainfall this winter filled the well with water, revealing the body. Though police are very careful with the information they release, media reports suggested the body belongs to a 38-year-old woman from the Philippines who was reported missing from her Larnaca home, along with her six-year-old daughter.

Police arrested her 33-year-old partner who appeared in court on Wednesday and was remanded for eight days.

Investigations continue into identity of body found in mine

Police are continuing investigations into the identity of a woman whose body was found tied up and wrapped in a sheet in an abandoned mine near Mitsero at around 3pm on Sunday. The body, which was badly decomposed, was found by a German photographer who was taking pictures in the area which he visited often.

The dead woman was retrieved from a shaft at a depth of 15 to 20 metres at 8.30pm by fire services and police.

Police are looking at all possibilities, including murder, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Monday. They are checking their register of missing people to see whether there is a possible match. Officers are also questioning residents near the mine. The post mortem, carried out by state pathologists Sofocles Sofocleous and Nicolas Charalambous, on Monday morning did not shed light on the cause of the woman’s death although it was reported that no stab wounds or gun injuries were found. Tissue was sent for histopathological and other tests.

The pathologists did not say how long they thought the body had been at the mine. Authorities are also trying to determine whether she was alive or dead when she was thrown into the mine shaft. According to state radio, she was 1.60 to 1.65 metres tall and probably Asian.

“From the findings at the scene, we are examining the possibility of a criminal act,” Angelides said.

He said that the first thing was to identify the woman as well as going through the registry of missing persons, adding she may not have been reported as missing. According to state broadcaster CyBC, police said there are 32 unsolved cases concerning persons reported as missing dating as far back as 1990, including Asian persons.

“We will look into everything concerning this case,” Angelides said.

Although he admitted he is not involved in the case, former state pathologist Marios Matsakis told media on Monday morning that it looked like a case of callous murder that was reminiscent of a previous case where the body of a woman was found down a well.

“There is no doubt that this is a callous murder. It will be a difficult forensic investigation because of the body’s decay,” he said.

Matsakis said it reminded him of the Oxana Lisna case 25 years ago.

“That was a double murder, the body of one woman was found in Kotsiatis [rubbish dump], while that of Lisna was found in a well. The murderers are now in prison,” he said.

Antonis Kitas, known as Al Capone, and Michalsi Iacovides were convicted in 1994 for the rape and murders of Ukrainian artiste Lisna, 20, and Swedish housewife Christina Ahfeldt, 28. Lisna’s battered body was discovered down a well near Livadia village, Larnaca, while Ahfeldt’s corpse was unearthed at Kotsiatis rubbish tip outside Nicosia. Both young women had been abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted before being murdered and dumped in the summer of 1993.

Al Capone and Iacovides are serving life sentences for the killings. Matsakis said the findings on Sunday’s discovery will depend on the way she was murdered. There is a procedure usually followed in such cases to rule out everything, he said.

“I wish for the cause of death to be determined and that the cold-blood murderers are found.”

Female body found in an abandoned mine near Mitsero

Police are continuing investigations into the identity of a woman whose body was found tied up and wrapped in a sheet in an abandoned mine near Mitsero at around 3pm on Sunday. The body, which was badly decomposed, was found by a German photographer who was taking pictures in the area which he visited often.

The dead woman was retrieved from a shaft at a depth of 15 to 20 metres at 8.30pm by fire services and police. Police are looking at all possibilities, including murder, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Monday. They are checking their register of missing people to see whether there is a possible match. Officers are also questioning residents near the mine.

The post mortem, carried out by state pathologists Sofocles Sofocleous and Nicolas Charalambous, on Monday morning did not shed light on the cause of the woman’s death although it was reported that no stab wounds or gun injuries were found. Tissue was sent for histopathological and other tests.

The pathologists did not say how long they thought the body had been at the mine. Authorities are also trying to determine whether she was alive or dead when she was thrown into the mine shaft. According to state radio, she was 1.60 to 1.65 metres tall and probably Asian.

“From the findings at the scene, we are examining the possibility of a criminal act,” Angelides said.

He said that the first thing was to identify the woman as well as going through the registry of missing persons, adding she may not have been reported as missing. According to state broadcaster CyBC, police said there are 32 unsolved cases concerning persons reported as missing dating as far back as 1990, including Asian persons.

“We will look into everything concerning this case,” Angelides said.

Although he admitted he is not involved in the case, former state pathologist Marios Matsakis told media on Monday morning that it looked like a case of callous murder that was reminiscent of a previous case where the body of a woman was found down a well.

“There is no doubt that this is a callous murder. It will be a difficult forensic investigation because of the body’s decay,” he said. Matsakis said it reminded him of the Oxana Lisna case 25 years ago. “That was a double murder, the body of one woman was found in Kotsiatis [rubbish dump], while that of Lisna was found in a well. The murderers are now in prison,” he said.

Antonis Kitas, known as Al Capone, and Michalsi Iacovides were convicted in 1994 for the rape and murders of Ukrainian artiste Lisna, 20, and Swedish housewife Christina Ahfeldt, 28. Lisna’s battered body was discovered down a well near Livadia village, Larnaca, while Ahfeldt’s corpse was unearthed at Kotsiatis rubbish tip outside Nicosia.

Both young women had been abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted before being murdered and dumped in the summer of 1993. Al Capone and Iacovides are serving life sentences for the killings.

Matsakis said the findings on Sunday’s discovery will depend on the way she was murdered. There is a procedure usually followed in such cases to rule out everything, he said.

“I wish for the cause of death to be determined and that the cold-blood murderers are found.”

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