Panayiotis Alexandrou, 26, from Aradippou, Larnaca, orchestrated the murder of a 36-year-old Moldovan woman, Daniela Rosca, last November, whom he believed to have been involved in the theft of €25,000 from his parents’ house after he ended their romantic affair, lead police investigator Giorgos Charalambous told the Larnaca District court on Tuesday.
Alexandrou was named as being implicated in the murder by Daniel Yordanov Slavchev, a 31-year-old Bulgarian man in police custody. Slavchev also named another Bulgarian, Plamen Pelov, still at large, as his accomplice in the murder.
Rosca had been found dead by neighbours in her Larnaca flat on November 1, 2015, with her hands tied behind her back.
According to Slavchev’s statement to the police, the two men had been approached by Alexandrou, who asked them to break into her apartment and steal back the money he thought Rosca had stolen from his parents.
Alexandrou, the lead investigator said, had been called in for questioning soon after Rosca’s dead body was discovered, but claimed to have been unaware of the murder and appeared shocked.
He admitted to having been romantically involved with Rosca since August 2014, despite being engaged at the time, but said he broke off the illicit affair in mid-2015. Soon after the break-up, Alexandrou’s parents had a safe they kept in their home, containing €25,000 in cash, stolen. He believed the break-up and the break-in were linked.
Police subsequently found out that, days after he had been called in for questioning, Alexandrou had replaced his mobile phone with a new one, identical to his old one.
He claimed that he did this in order to avoid the discovery of pornographic material on his old phone.
Alexandrou and his fiancee were planning their wedding, scheduled for September 2016, and have a two-month-old baby.
According to Slavchev’s police statement, Pelov had told him that Alexandrou had pressured him to go ahead with the plan, and advised him that, since breaking into Rosca’s flat would be difficult, they should abduct her while outside the block of flats and force her to let them in.
Once in, the two were to steal back the money and leave.
Two failed attempts to carry out the plan followed, with Alexandrou reporting on Rosca’s movements via GPS to the two men.
Entering the flat, Slavchev claimed, he saw Pelov, clad in a hood and gloves, holding a woman from behind, whose face he couldn’t make out.
He then saw Pelov move the woman to another bedroom, push her to the floor and repeatedly kick her on the neck and back.
Then, using a shoelace he found in another room, which Slavchev claimed to have also touched, Pelov tied the woman’s hands behind her back, and pushed a pillow against her face to keep her from screaming.
According to Slavchev, the two then took her two mobile phones and her i-Pad before fleeing the scene.
Hours later, Slavchev and Pelov went to a spot in the Koshi area, where they burned both the stolen items and Pelov’s items of clothing.
The court ordered that Alexandrou be remanded for seven days.
Larnaca CID hopes that Pelov will be extradited by Bulgaria within the week.