Alleged serial killer Nikos Metaxas has been remanded in custody for eight more days, as police investigators are looking into a new email address linked to the case.
During Wednesday’s hearing at the Nicosia courthouse, police prosecutor Ioannis Yiorkatzis told the judge that a new email address is being examined under a court warrant. According to media sources, the email was said to belong to a profile associated with 8-year-old Elena Natalia Bunea, whose body was found in the red lake in rural Nicosia.
Elena and her mother, 36-year-old Romanian national Livia Florentina Bunea, went missing in 2016 and their bodies were recovered recently in suitcases in the red lake, following a confession said to have been given to police by the suspect. Four other bodies have been recovered in the case, with Metaxas reportedly admitting to seven murders.
There are also 433 items or objects tied to the case that could potentially be presented as pieces of evidence. Some 620 depositions have been obtained so far while investigators are expected to get statements from another 80 witnesses. Lab test results from post mortems including some DNA analysis are still pending.
Metaxas, a Greek Cypriot army captain and skilled photographer also known as Orestis, is facing multiple charges including five cases with seven counts of premeditated murder, and another case of rape, indecent assault, and kidnapping, while other charges include privacy violation, attempted evidence tampering, and obstruction of justice.
The suspect, who appeared wearing a bullet-proof vest on his 40th day in police custody, was said to have been very calm in the courtroom where only journalists and police officers were allowed inside. Orestis reportedly once again waived his right to counsel, answering “no” and “yes ma’am” to questions whether he had any objection to his remand and whether he understood the proceedings.
Police have so far relied primarily on Orestis’ confession to obtain incriminating evidence, with media critics raising the question of a possible withdrawal of confession by the suspect or the court finding it inadmissible. Investigators are said to be prepared for that possibility as they gather more evidence, according to media reports.
The missing body of another adult Filipina, 30-year-old Maricar Valdez Arquiola, is the only one so far linked to solid and incontrovertible evidence linking the suspect to the victim’s murder, including location data and text messages in real time associated with the disappearance.
Divers are still searching for Maricar in the bottom of the red lake as well as the young daughter of another slain victim in nearby Memi lake.