Another body turns up in the Filipina murders
Another dead body turned up in the investigation of the Filipina murders, with media sources saying the suspected serial killer reportedly gave another confession but could not remember if the victim was from India or Nepal.
According to local media, police found an unidentified female corpse at a military shooting range in Orounda, Nicosia district, on Thursday afternoon.
The discovery was part of a larger effort to locate and identify bodies of women who were murdered by the serial killer, described as a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot army captain and skilled photographer known by his social media handle Orestis.
Following formal charges for a third count of murder, the suspect admitted to meeting but not killing 30-year-old Maricar Valdez Arquiola from the Philippines, who went missing in December 2017. Previously he confessed to killing two other Filipinas, 38-year-old Marry Rose Tiburcio and 28-year-old Αrian Palanas Lozano.
Reports said Orestis told interrogators he could not remember the exact identity of the female corpse in Orounda, suggesting to police that the woman could have been from India or Nepal.
The body was said to be in an advanced stage of decomposition. State forensic pathologists were called to the scene.
Earlier on Thursday, a search operation in an old abandoned mine in Mitseros, Nicosa distrcit, yileded nothing. The two bodies of Filipina women were extracted from the mine shaft earlier this month, while the daugther of one of the victims has yet to be found.
Specialists from the United Kingdom, including a forensic expert and a clinical psychologist, were reportedly requested by authorities for providing assistance in the case. An expert with murder cases involving a serial killer is also expected to be part of the British team.
Cyprus police have been under heavy criticism for not doing their due diligence in the disappearance cases of foreign women, including the three Filipinas who were murdered.
Members of Cyprus police association fought back on Thursday, saying that privacy laws are too strict for officers dealing with missing cases.
While laws could prohibit law enforcement officers from going through a missing person’s phone records without a warrant, legal experts say the circumstances of a case ultimately dictate whether a warrant can be sought through a judge, including suspected kidnapping cases.
A friend of one of the victims, who reported Marry Rose and her daughter, 6-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, as missing on 4 May 2018, helped authorities identify the body through an earring and unique dental information earlier this month. Almost a year earlier, she reportedly told police on 5 May 2018 that her friend did not show up as expected and that the victim had communicated online with a male known as Orestis.
On Friday, a diver with a deep sea diving suit is expected to spend more time underwater in Memi lake in Xiliatos in search of little Sierra. Authorities were led to the reservoir, near Mitseros, after the suspect said he dumped the little girl’s body in the lake but denied killing her. Previous reports said he told cops Marry Rose's daugther choked on her own vomit.