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Three-month extension for probe into police handling of Metaxas’ missing victims

The search in the 'red lake' at Mitsero for bodies

The independent police watchdog said on Thursday it has granted a three-month extension to investigators probing the way the police handled the disappearances of several women and two girls who became the victims of a serial killer because of the volume of material gathered in the case.

The investigators are probing potential shortcomings in the way the force handled the missing persons reports and the possible “commission of criminal and disciplinary offences and the people involved”.

Serial killer Nicos Metaxas, 35, claimed the lives of five women and two children aged six and eight, daughters of two of the women.

It quickly emerged that three of the women and the two children had been reported missing many months previously but police had not carried out a proper investigation into their fate.

The case forced the resignation of Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou and the dismissal of the chief of police Zacharias Chrysostomou, as reports suggested earlier investigations into the disappearances were deficient.

The force is carrying out its own internal probes into the perceived shortcomings.

The case emerged on April 14 after the accidental discovery of a woman’s body inside a mine shaft in Mitsero.

It was followed by the discovery of a second body in the same shaft and the arrest of army officer Metaxas. It took two more months for the rest of his victims’ bodies to be recovered from Mitsero’s ‘red lake’, a shooting range and another small lake near Xyliatos reservoir. Metaxas was sentenced to seven life sentences.

 

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