NEWS

Cyprus police start wellness checks on serial killer’s phone contacts

cyprus-police-start-wellness-checks-on-serial-killer-amp-8217-s-phone-contacts

As underwater search for at least two slain victims is ongoing in the serial killer case, police are performing wellness checks on all foreign women whose numbers were stored on a dedicated SIM card belonging to the suspect.

According to local media, police officers have been given the task to contact foreign women whose phone numbers had been stored on a SIM card owned by alleged serial killer Nikos Metaxas. The suspect, who went under the name "Orestis," had reportedly attempted to swallow the SIM card during his arrest last month but a police officer managed to stop him.

The actual phone device is believed to have been destroyed along with possible evidence of suspicious or criminal activity, such as stored conversations, videos, images, and possibly a larger number of contacts stored on the phone’s internal memory. Metaxas is believed to have at least three different SIM phone numbers, with at least one of them used as a phone dedicated to contacting foreign women.

A young aspiring model, who told police Metaxas raped her in his vehicle two years ago, says the suspect used his mobile phone to record the incident.

Media sources quoted officials saying a significant amount of evidence may have been lost forever, after the suspect is thought to have destroyed the phone days after the discovery of the body of Marry Rose Tiburcio, a Filipina he had been dating and went missing with her daughter in May 2018.

Meanwhile, search efforts continue in Memi Lake, rural Nicosia, in search for six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, after Metaxas said he dumped the little girl underwater one year ago.

Three other victims have been retrieved based on the suspect’s confession, while divers are still looking for another Filipina, 30-year-old Maricar Valdez Arquiola who went missing on 13 December 2017 and is believed to be at the bottom the Red Lake in nearby Mitseros.

At the same time, a Filipina who was reported missing on Tuesday evening turned up in a video chat with her friends a day later, after her friends located her and notified the authorities.

Limassol police issued a missing person alert on Wednesday for the woman but did not provide any details as to who filed the complaint or whether a crime had been suspected. It was not immediately clear whether the woman's phone number was found on Metaxas' SIM card.