A female orderly trying to carry a 70-year-old man to his bed pulled his shirt collar and strangled him, it emerged on Wednesday, a day after he had been found dead in his bed in a Limassol care home.
Police arrested the 27-year-old Sri Lankan woman who was working the night shift at the home without a permit. They were led to her arrest by the footage from the establishment’s security cameras.
They also detained the director of the home, a woman in her forties, for employing the orderly.
Andreas Kyriacou, who had been in the nursing home for the past four months, died early on Tuesday and although no suspicions were raised at the time, the findings of the post mortem on Wednesday prompted police to launch a murder inquiry.
However, footage from the security cameras showed the 27-year-old trying to pull the man on to his bed and inadvertently strangling him. The woman then left the home and was later arrested by police in connection with negligent manslaughter.
It had all started early on Tuesday after Kyriacou was found dead in his bed.
According to the care home, at 5:30am on Tuesday he said he had not been feeling well and was taken back to his bed as he had mobility issues and had been using a zimmer frame to help him move around.
A short while later he was found dead.
A private doctor confirmed his death. Deputy police spokesman Stelios Stylianou said police had gone to the scene as is standard procedure but did not suspect foul play as there were no obvious signs of injury.
During the autopsy, however, state pathologist Nicolas Charalambous found some minor marks on the throat that could have been missed because the victim had a long beard.
The pathologist also found injuries inside the throat and blood vessels that had burst.
A more thorough search found bruises to the side of the man’s neck.
The man was strangled most likely in headlock, Charalambous suggested.
“During the post mortem, injuries were found in the throat area and in the course of the procedure it emerged that it was a criminal act; strangulation,” Charalambous said.
The state pathologist said bruises had been found in other parts of his body, initially attributed to the fact that he had mobility problems.
Following the findings, police on Wednesday returned to the nursing home to probe the story they had been told.
The 70-year-old stayed in a room with two other people and prior to his admission to the care home four months ago, he had been at Athalassa psychiatric facility.
Limassol CID chief Ioannis Soteriades said Kyriacou’s roommates had been questioned but nothing came up.