Thu, May 02, 2019 - Page 6 News List

British police join investigation into Cyprus serial killer

AFP, NICOSIA

British police experts on Tuesday joined their Cypriot counterparts in investigating a number of gruesome murders carried out by a suspected serial killer on the Mediterranean island.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told reporters that the British team met Cypriot Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou and were briefed by local investigators.

The experts, who came at Nicosia’s request, would assist in a complex case dubbed Cyprus’ “first serial killings.”

“There was a meeting with the heads of the investigations, where a first presentation of the findings, details and background was given,” Angelides said.

British police experts — including a forensic specialist and clinical psychologist — later visited the scene where the search for bodies was under way.

Tuesday’s search ended without results, but it is to continue in the coming days, Angelides said.

The remains of an adult woman were found on Sunday stuffed inside a suitcase at the bottom of a toxic artificial lake southwest of the capital, Nicosia.

The suspect, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot army officer, has allegedly confessed to killing five foreign women and two of their daughters in a crime spree that went undetected for nearly three years.

Angelides said the woman pulled from Red Lake, the fourth body recovered so far, has yet to be identified.

Police are still searching the waters at another lake for the body of a six-year-old Filipina, the daughter of one of the murdered women.

Authorities have called for more sophisticated equipment to search the two lakes.

Police are also probing the cases of a missing Romanian mother and her young daughter, as well as an unidentified Asian woman also on the list of victims.

The case came to light two weeks ago when tourists spotted the first body, that of 38-year-old Mary Rose Tiburcio from the Philippines, brought to the surface of a disused mine shaft by unusually heavy rains.

That triggered a murder investigation which led to the army captain’s arrest on April 18.

Days later, authorities found the body of a second woman in the shaft believed to be Arian Palanas Lozano, 28, also from the Philippines.

The suspect on Thursday last week led investigators to a well near an army firing range outside the capital where police found the body of the unidentified woman.

Police have been criticized for not following up leads when the women were first reported missing.

“Unprecedented indifference was shown simply because these people were not of Cypriot origin, but came from foreign countries,” opposition AKEL party leader Andros Kyprianou said.

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