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Suspected serial killer held for another eight days, police add rape investigation to list (Update 1)

File photo: Nicos Metaxas being led from court during his hearings

The suspect in the murder of five women and two girls was remanded for a further eight days on Sunday by the Nicosia court as police sought more time to gather evidence to complete investigations into the serial killing of seven people, five foreign women and the young daughters of two of the victims.

For the first time in the proceedings, police investigators brought up in court, a new allegation against the suspect, that of the rape of a Filipino woman in 2017 as part of making their case for a new remand. Because this investigation was at an early stage, police said they needed the full eight-day remand, and also because they expected to take another 150 statements in connection with the murders.

The court heard from the investigators that in 2017 the suspect, Nicos Metaxas, 35, picked her up in his car for a photoshoot. The army officer worked as a professional photographer on the side. Investigators said the woman, a domestic worker met the suspect, who went by the name Orestis on social media, online.

According to investigators, he took her to a remote area and raped her in the car, and filmed the encounter.

A friend of the woman, who was 19 at the time, told Politis recently in an interview was afraid to go to the police at the time but has been wracked by guilt after the murders came to light, for not coming forward sooner because some of the women might still be alive today.

The friend said the suspect later threatened the woman her not to report him “because she would find herself in big trouble”.

Metaxas, who police say has admitted to seven murders in a handwritten ten-page confession, was taken to court on Sunday under heavy security wearing a bullet-proof vest. He has not confessed to the rape allegation, police told the court. The suspect was not represented by a lawyer and raised no objection to the new remand order.

Meanwhile, the search for the victims of the serial killings are continuing at the red lake near the Mitsero mine, and at the Memi lake in Xyliatos for the bodies of three of the seven people murdered. Four bodies have been recovered so far, two of whom have been positively identified as Filipino nationals. Of the remaining two, one is said to be Asian according to pathologists but she has not been identified. Neither has the woman whose body was stuffed in a suitcase and thrown into the red lake, which was brought up last Sunday.

Still missing are the bodies of another woman and the two little girls aged 6 and 8.

The search was ongoing on Sunday at the red lake (Christos Theodorides)

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