Cyprus serial killer: Human remains found as police interrogate suspect who targeted women on dating site

Police say army officer has confessed to murdering seven people but detectives fear there may be as many as 30 victims

Colin Drury
Sunday 28 April 2019 16:55
Cyprus police search for more of suspect's victims

Human remains dumped in a lake have been found by police in Cyprus in their ongoing investigation into what is believed to be the Mediterranean island’s first serial killer.

Detectives say Nikos Metaxas has confessed to murdering five women and two girls, aged just six and eight, during a three-year murder spree.

But police fear the number of victims may be as high as 30. They are reportedly reopening dozens of missing person cases involving foreign women who were previously assumed to have left the country.

Mr Metaxas was apprehended earlier this month after tourists stumbled upon one of two bodies dumped in a disused mineshaft.

The remains of a third victim were retrieved on Sunday from a suitcase dumped in a highly toxic lake close to the capital city, Nicosia.

It is understood the 35-year-old suspected killer – an officer in the country’s army – led them to the remains. Two other bodies are thought to be in the lake and police are continuing the search.

The two known victims are 38-year-old Mary Rose Tiburcio and Arian Palanas Lozano, 28. Both are from the Philippines.

It is also believed that the suspect killed Ms Tiburcio’s six-year-old daughter Sierra, as well as a mother and daughter from Romania, a Nepalese woman and a final victim from the Philippines.

He had met all the adults on a dating website.

The grim discovery has sent shockwaves across the sunshine island. The last time a double killing occurred there was in 1993.

Police have been accused of failing to investigate reports of missing foreign women seriously, exposing authorities to accusations of “criminal indifference” to the plight of low-paid non-Cypriots living in the country.

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In response, police have pointed out that a restrictive legal framework hampers their ability to check things such as phone records without a specific court order, issued only if a criminal offence punishable by more than five years in prison is suspected.

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