Cyprus Mail

Family say murder case of mistaken identity

The Ayia Napa murder scene (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

Police on Tuesday were still in the dark over the murder of a 33-year-old man in Ayia Napa on Thursday night, as his family suggested it could have been a case of mistaken identity.

Gary Christodoulou was found dead with two bullets to his head and one to the chest in an acacia grove around 100 metres from his silver Mercedes, which had been driven into a ditch next to the hard shoulder of the motorway one kilometre from Ayia Napa.

Christodoulou was found after a passerby reported to police at 10.15pm on Thursday that she had seen a car which seemed to have been involved in an accident on the Rizoelia to Ayia Napa road, around a kilometre from the roundabout that leads to Paralimni.

Officers found the vehicle with the engine running and the lights on but the driver was missing. A bullet that had apparently shattered the front door window was found lodged in the passenger seat.

A search ensued and at 11.50pm officers found a dead man close to the road, approximately 150 metres from the car with two gunshots to his head and one to the chest.

Reports suggested Christodoulou, a father of a five-year-old boy, was linked with the area’s underworld and was also known to police from previous drugs-related cases.

Christodoulou, from Liverpool, had worked on and off as an events promoter, according to his family, who says he had been working seasonally in Cyprus since 2010 and had been back on the island since February.

His sister Sofia, in Cyprus to take her brother’s body home, told the Liverpool Echo it must have been a case of mistaken identity.

In a statement released through a family friend she said: “Gary was a hard-working man, father of five-year-old Lucas. He was a well-loved gentleman with a heart of gold. There was no reason for Gary to have been shot, it must be mistaken identity. This has left his family and friends heartbroken.”

The family are fundraising to fly him back to the UK.

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