Cyprus Mail

Court hears tale of drinking, violence and death

By Peter Stevenson

TWO Romanian men aged 57 and 46 were remanded for eight days by the Larnaca district court yesterday in connection with the murder of a Romanian woman on Monday.

The woman, identified as Mirela Dunca, 56, was found dead in a flat near the church of Ayios Lazaros on Monday just before noon.

Larnaca police spokesman Charalambos Zachariou said she had been in Cyprus for seven years and in 2008 had married an Indian man. The victim was homeless and living in an abandoned house. The two suspects, living in Larnaca for the last five or six years, are unemployed, Zachariou added.

At around 11.40am on Monday, the 57-year-old reported to police there was a dead woman in his flat. Officers found Dunca fully clothed on a bed. She had sustained multiple injuries caused by a blunt object.

While police were there, the 46-year-old arrived at the flat. He claimed he did not know what had happened.

Both suspects initially denied any involvement in the murder but Zachariou said there were inconsistencies in their statements. Police said later yesterday the 57-year-old had confessed.

In his initial statement, he claimed that at midnight on Sunday he was visited by the second suspect and the victim, who already had bruises on her body. The three began drinking but he said he asked the woman to leave at around 3am.

She refused and he slapped her twice in the face. They then went to bed together and the 46-year-old left. At around 8am he woke up and found Dunca dead, he claimed. He called the other man to meet him. He claims the 46-year-old told him not to say anything and to get rid of the body but he decided instead to go to police.

In his statement, the 46-year-old claimed he and the 57-year-old were walking to the flat and stopped off where Dunca lived, and that the older man had hit her. They then went back to the flat and the victim joined them later.

At some stage the 46-year-old suggested he take Dunca to his place because she was drunk but the 57-year-old threatened he would kill them both.

The 46-year-old then claimed his compatriot took a hammer and began hitting Dunca.

He did not intervene but threatened to call police. The three then continued drinking and at around 3.30am on Monday the 46-year-old went home, saying the victim was still alive.

At around 9am on Monday his compatriot called him, saying there was something wrong with Dunca. They then met up and he gave the older man money to take her to a doctor. He did not know she was dead.

A post mortem concluded Dunca had died from internal bleeding caused by injury from a blunt object.

The police spokesman said other statements claim the 57-year-old had a rocky relationship with the victim. They were both described as alcoholics who would argue to the point of violence. Another statement claims the two suspects were seen dragging the woman violently by the arms earlier that evening.

Zachariou told the court that another 40 statements would be taken, and that CCTV footage would be examined. The suspects will also be evaluated by a state psychiatrist.

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