Cyprus Mail

Man found in burnt car was murdered (Updated)

car fire 960x540human remains found in burning car in anarita
Police at the scene

Police have launched a murder investigation into the death of a 60-year-old man whose body was found inside a burnt-out car near Anarita village, Paphos.

Police said on Saturday that a post mortem on the body of Leontios Pogiatzis, a businessman with links to Limassol and former resident of Nata, showed that he had died after being shot three times in the abdomen.

The body of the 60-year-old was found charred, inside the car, which had been completely destroyed by fire on Thursday morning near Anarita village. Examinations at the scene revealed that the fire had been set maliciously.

The remains were found after eyewitnesses informed the authorities about a forest fire that broke out in the village around 7am on Thursday.

Firefighters and police arrived at the scene to put out the blaze, discovering human remains in a car that had been destroyed by the fire in Dasoudi area, near the army camp.

State pathologists Angeliki Papetta and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou examined the scene for several hours on behalf of the state, accompanied by Marios Matsakis who was hired by the family.

Police then brought in canine units for further investigation.

An autopsy was then carried out on Friday by a team of medical examiners who concluded his death was caused by injuries to the abdomen, caused by a firearm.

The victim is thought to have left Nata early Thursday morning, taking the Nata-Anarita road towards the Paphos-Limassol highway.

Further examinations showed that the car was set on fire by the assailants, who threw Poyiatzis in the back seat after shooting him three times in the abdomen.

Due to the condition of the body, the identification of the deceased was by scientific comparison of genetic material – DNA – obtained from his relatives.

Paphos deputy police chief Nicos Tsapis told reporters that on Saturday an aircraft was deployed to help the taskforce with investigations, discovering some additional evidence that will be sent to the lab to establish any potential relation to the case.

Paphos CID are continuing investigations to determine a motive, Tsapis added.

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