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Crime Cyprus

Search continues in Mitsero red lake for third suitcase

Photo: CNA

Investigations were continuing Saturday to find the suitcase containing third body dumped in Mitsero’s red lake by self-confessed serial killer Nicos Metaxas.

For the 34th day, crews and investigators arrived at the lake on Saturday morning and began their search at 10am in an area of the lake where they hope to locate the body of a third victim.

Of the murders of female foreign nationals – five women and two children aged 6 and 8 – that 35-year-old Metaxas allegedly confessed to have murdered, five bodies have so far been found, with police still searching for six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc and one more body, probably that of Maricar Valdez Arguiola, 30.

The suspect has denied killing the six-year-old, saying she choked on her own vomit, after which he threw her body in Memi lake in Xyliatos.  This happened in May 2018 after he dumped the body of her mother Mary Rose Tiburcio in a mine shaft at Mitsero. Her body was discovered on April 14, and another woman’s remains, those of Arian Palanas Lozano were found in the same place a week later.

Arguiola, missing since December 2027, is believed to be n a third suitcase dumped in the red lake in Mitsero. Two of the suitcases containing victims, Elena Natalia Bunea (8) and her mother Livia Florentina (36), were retrieved by the authorities, the first on April 28 and the second on May 5. The suspect allegedly said they were his first victims after they went missing in September 2016.

On Wednesday, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that outgoing Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou would remain in office for 15 more days to handle the justice reform bills.

Nicolaou resigned earlier this month over the apparent police failures in investigating the disappearances of the five foreign women and two children who turned out to be the victims of a serial killer.

The president had asked Nicolaou to stay for another two weeks to oversee crucial justice reform bills, Prodromou said, adding that Nicolaou will leave office on June 1.

The minister’s resignation was followed by the dismissal of police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou.


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