Captain Nicos Metaxas has been dubbed ‘the island’s first serial killer’
The 35-year-old soldier appeared in court Sunday as police dredged the remains of a body stuffed in a suitcase, from a lake in Nicosia
Local media have reported the body is that of a child
Metaxas has confessed to the murder of five women and two of their daughters
He has not yet been formally charged over their murders
Nicos Metaxas, [photo], the alleged ‘first serial killer of Cyprus’, appeared in court today after confessing killing five women and two girls in a three year span
Police said a post-mortem would be carried out on the body which is in an ‘advanced state of decomposition’.
The body found today is believed to be that of a child, according to local newspaper Phileleftheros.
Metaxas has allegedly confessed to the murder of five women, alongside daughters of two of the women – a six-year-old Filipina and a Romanian girl.
The killings came to light in mid-April when unusually heavy rains brought the body of 38-year-old Filipina Mary Rose Tiburcio to the surface of a disused mine shaft where it had been dumped.
Investigations kicked off after the body of Mary Rose Tiburcio, [left], was discovered on April 14 at a disused mine-shaft. Her six-year-old daughter Sierra [left], is also feared dead
The discovery triggered a murder investigation which led to the arrest of Nicos Metaxas on April 18.
Days later, authorities found the body of a second woman in the shaft, believed to be Arian Palanas Lozano, 28, also from the Philippines.
These are the only two women to be officially identified.
The suspect then guided investigators to a well near an army firing range outside the capital, where police found the body of a third victim – a woman thought to be from Nepal.
Police last Sunday recovered the remains of a fourth victim, stuffed in a suitcase at the bottom of the lake at Mitsero.
At court today, Metaxas was accused by police of raping a teenager who filed a complaint against the army officer.
Neophytos Shailos, head of Nicosia’s Criminal Investigation Department, told the Nicosia district court a Flipina woman, 19, made the allegations which Metaxas denied when questioned.
Shailos told the court the young woman made contact with the army officer online in 2016 when she replied to a modelling job for a photo shoot.
Metaxas appeared in court without a lawyer and told the judge he had ‘no objections’ to being remanded.
Police say they have received a ‘deluge of information’ about the suspect’s activities with 350 witness statements taken and another 150 to be processed.
Protesters have held banners and candles as they demonstrate in support of the victims – Many Cypriots have accused the police of failing to investigate the disappearances of the foreign women because of their institutional racism
Cypriot authorities have been accused of failing to properly investigate the women’s disappearances due to neglect and racism.
President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday fired top police officer Zacharias Chrysostomou a day after Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou announced his resignation over the case.
Metaxas appeared in court without a lawyer and has been remanded in custody for a further eight days
Authorities have acknowledged that all the women and girls that the army officer has admitted to killing were reported missing to police, except the one from Nepal who was reported to immigration for being absent from her place of employment.
The police said today they would continue to look for a third suitcase the suspect allegedly confessed to dumping in the lake.
Authorities said they were able to locate the second suitcase by using sophisticated equipment including a robotic camera flown in from the United States.
‘We will persist in our efforts, conducting different kinds of tests in the area and elsewhere at a later stage,’ said Angelides.
He said police were still assessing data found on electronic equipment belonging to the suspect.
Metaxas has been remanded in custody for a further eight days.