Hopes of finding the suitcase containing the body of 30-year-old Maricar Valdez in the red lake at Mitsero are fading as Sunday’s efforts ended without result.
Three divers reaching as deep as 18m into the toxic waters of the red lake, from which two body-containing suitcases had been retrieved, failed to find anything and gave up their efforts for the day just before 5pm.
Hopes had been raised for the discovery of a third suitcase, believed to contain the body Arguiola, after a cement block was pulled from the lake on May 14. Cement blocks had been used to weigh down the two suitcases retrieved from the lake previously.
Search efforts are expected to continue on Monday morning, in both the red lake in Mitsero and lake Memi in Xyliatos, where the 35-year-old, suspected serial killer, Nikos Metaxas, told police he dumped the body of a six-year-old.
Of the murders of female foreign nationals – five women and two children aged 6 and 8 – that Metaxas allegedly confessed to have murdered, five bodies have so far been found, with police still searching for Arguiola and six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc.
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. 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 mine shaft a week later.
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 from the Mitsero lake. The suspect allegedly said they were his first victims after they went missing in September 2016.