Police have informed the relatives of 46-year-old Petruna Milchova Nikolova they can collect her body for burial, almost a month after her death and after a fifth post mortem last week to determine if she was mauled to death by dogs.
Greek pathologist Hara Spiliopoulou and UK-based Cypriot doctor Andreas Marnerides last week carried out the fifth autopsy on the body of Nikolova who is believed to have been mauled to death by two dogs in Paphos on February 22. Their findings were not made public, but reports claimed the final autopsy confirmed that she was killed by dogs.
With all investigations completed, police informed the family they could collect the body.
Nikolova, who came to Cyprus from Bulgaria to look for a job only to die a few days after her arrival, was found critically injured in a potato field in Yeroskipou but died on the way to the hospital.
The initial autopsy found she had died from haemorrhage shock resulting from multiple injuries, possibly caused by farming equipment. Three subsequent autopsies carried out on behalf of both the family and suspects, who kept Rottweilers, indicated she was mauled by dogs. The Attorney-general asked for a fifth autopsy to be certain that the state’s case would be airtight in a court.
A 27-year-old man who owns at least five Rottweilers and used to keep them in the area where Nikolova was found, faces charges of manslaughter and causing death through negligence. He will remain in custody until the beginning of his trial, set for April 18, at the Paphos Criminal Court.
Two of his dogs, which have not been found, are believed to be the ones that fatally injured Nikolova. The authorities suspect the two animals were shot and buried elsewhere.
The man’s father, 54, had been arrested on suspicion of acting as an accessory after the events but he was later released due to lack of evidence.
A company announced it would pay for the transfer of Nikolova’s body to Bulgaria for burial.