The Nicosia district court on Monday issued a fresh remand order against 35-year-old suspected serial killer Nikos Metaxas to allow police to continue investigations into premeditated murder, kidnapping, and rape.
The 35-year-old, who appeared before the court once again without a lawyer, was escorted by members of the counter-terrorism unit.
Requesting a fresh remand order, lead investigator Ioannis Yiorkadjis outlined the progress of the continuing investigation into multiple crimes connected with the suspect, which involve the murder of seven victims and one rape charge.
So far, police have taken 450 statements and collected 355 pieces of evidence. Some 100 additional statements remain to be collected, Yiorkadjis said.
Police have also found a third car belonging to the 35-year-old, which he used in 2016. Authorities have also tracked down where the suspect found the cement blocks used to weigh down the body-containing suitcases into the red lake in Mitsero.
Yiorkadjis added that police are continuing investigations into Metaxas’ phone data, as well as into the allegation of rape of a Filipino woman in 2017, which the 35-year-old denied.
In a previous hearing, Yiorkadjis had told the court that Metaxas handed police a 10-page handwritten confession, outlining six murders, five women and one child aged eight. He denied killing a second child, six, claiming she had choked on her own vomit.
Five bodies have so far been found at three locations, including a mine shaft in Mitsero, a toxic red lake near the mine, and a firing range in Orounta.
On May 5, the second out of the three bodies that Metaxas told police he dumped in the red lake in suitcases was found by search crews.
The UK-based Cypriot state pathologist Andreas Marnerides, who was among the five-member team of British experts who had assisted in the investigations earlier in the month, participated in the post-mortem that was conducted on the retrieved body along with two other local state pathologists on Monday.
The body is believed to be eight-year-old Elena Natalia, daughter of Livia Florentina, 36, from Romania, whose body is believed to be that retrieved from the red lake on April 28.
Tissue was taken for histopathological examinations at the time while the post mortem will be continued at a later stage, police said.
Search crews continued scouring the red lake on Monday for a third suitcase, believed to contain 30-year-old Marricar Valdez Arguiola from the Philippines.
The search for the suitcase ended unsuccessfully on Sunday, reportedly due to the limited visibility in the waters of the red lake as a result of the waist-high mud.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, should search crews fail to locate the third suitcase on Monday, the search will continue with an additional diver, as only one has entered the lake so far.
The sonar technology is also expected to return to the USA on Tuesday, as it has already provided search crews with underwater scans of both the red lake and Memi lake in the Xyliatos reservoir area, where Metaxas told police he dumped the body of six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, which has yet to be found.
Sierra is the daughter of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 39, from the Philippines, whose body was the first of Metaxas’ victims to be found on April 14 in the Mitsero mine shaft.
Mother and daughter Sierra went missing last May.
Last week, fire chief Marcos Trangolas announced that should the current search strategy fail to locate the two remaining bodies, a ground penetrating radar will be employed.