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Cyprus

Probe into possible police lapses in missing women cases due soon, chief says

File photo: Chief of police Kypros Michaelides

Police chief Kypros Michaelides on Tuesday praised the people who helped expose the crimes of 35-year-old serial killer Nicos Metaxas and helped locate his seven victims.

He also said the conclusions of the independent investigation into whether there had been any missteps by police when the murdered women had initially been reported missing, was expected soon.

Police were widely criticised for apparently not thoroughly investigating the cases when the women were reported missing, which could have prevented some of the murders. The outcry led to the resignation of then justice minister Ionas Nicoloau and the subsequent firing of then police chief Zacharis Chrysostomou.

Addressing all those involved in the investigation and search for the bodies of the five women and two girls killed by Metaxas, Michaelides recounted how the murders unfolded with the accidental discovery on April 14 this year of the body of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 39, from the Philippines in a mine shaft in Mitsero, some miles from Nicosia.

Investigations, he said, lasted 72 days in total and ended with the discovery of the last body, that of 6-year-old Sierra Graze, the daughter of Mary Rose, on June 2 in Lake Meni at Xyliatos. Mother and child had been murdered in May 2018.

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