Cyprus Mail

Conflicting stories about family feud that ended in tragedy

By Constantinos Psillides

NOT BEING able to cope with the strain of a broken-up home seems to be the reason behind Wednesday’s shocking murder-suicide, when 41-year old Andreas Pittis killed his estranged wife Margarita, his 9-year old daughter, critically injured his 14-year old son and then took his own life.

The couple led what appeared to be a near-perfect life in the village of Mammari, west of Nicosia, according to family members.

Margarita shattered that image when she left the family home two months ago, taking their two children with her and filing for divorce.

According to Pittis’ sister, who appeared on Sigmalive, this affected her brother greatly.

“He lost eight kilos in a week. I went around, did the washing, made him lunch, cleaned around the house and tried to keep him company. He used to tell me that when we were around he was fine, but when he went to sleep at night it all came back,” she claimed, adding that her brother kept asking for the children.

“She was probably planning to leave for a long time. She took the children, called the police to tell them that she was leaving and took off in the middle of the night. She told my brother that she wanted to do her master’s degree and that she was planning to become a university professor.”

Margarita, a kindergarten teacher, took her children to a new home in Acropolis, enrolled them to different schools and started proceedings for a divorce.

“He told us that she turned the children against him. She looked for excuses to not let him see them. Initially the court ordered for weekly visitations but he conceded to have that lifted in exchange for not paying alimony. He was devastated. He kept shouting that he wanted his children back,” Pittis’ sister said.

“He even tried to call her, to tell her to come back and that they could work it out. When she said she was going for a master’s degree he told her that he would support her.”

She added that her brother had not seen his children for three weeks.

The couple had agreed that Andreas could meet his children on Wednesday but had disagreed on how long they could stay.

Pittis’ sister claimed that her brother’s mind was clouded and that he was blinded by anger.

A woman, claiming that she was a friend of Pittis, called a MEGA TV talk-show and claimed that the man confided in her that he felt ridiculed and would not step outside.

Margarita’s family and friends told a vastly different tale. They gave the image of a man constantly jealous of his wife who wouldn’t let her complete her life’s ambition.

Her father, asked by MEGA TV reporters on whether his daughter ever complained to him that her husband beat her, simply replied, “she told us a lot of things that she had to endure but now nothing we say matters.”

Thekla Petridou, a psychologist, told Sigma TV that the young boy reached out to her through Facebook to ask her how he could report domestic violence anonymously.

The teenager is currently in Nicosia General Hospital, suffering a serious gunshot would in the upper back. He was still unresponsive and head of Intensive Care Unit Dr. Theodoros Kyprianou said that they would try and check his responsiveness today.

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