News Local Mitsero murders: search for victims enters 17th day

Mitsero murders: search for victims enters 17th day

A search will continue at two locations on Tuesday as authorities look for the bodies of three murder victims in a highly acidic lake at Mitsero and a lake at Xyliatou.

A 35 year old Greek Cypriot army officer currently in police custody, has reportedly confessed to seven murders. Four bodies have been recovered so far.

British police experts have arrived on the island  to help police investigate an unprecedented murder spree which has stunned Cyprus public opinion and led to calls for the resignation of the Justice Minister and chief of police.

The team, which includes a pathologist, a psychologist and experts in serious crime, is to to participate in a meeting at police headquarters today.

A diver is due to continue a search for the body of six year old Sierra — daughter of Marry Rose Tiburcio whose body was found in an abandoned mine shaft on April 14 — in Xyliatou.

So far, despite days of combing the lake, nothing has been found and authorities say that specialised sonar equipment is being brought in from the US on Friday so that it can be used in the two lakes on Saturday.

Low visibility and the difficult topography is hampering efforts — experts say visibility at Xyliatou is at 20 cm.

The search at the acid lake Kokkini Limni (red lake) at Mitsero, is fraught with even more difficulties. The water is toxic and visibility there is even lower at between 5 and 10 cm, an expert whose company is facilitating the search told CyBC.

Yesterday visibility was zero because of Easter Sunday’s operation to recover a suitcase with the remains of an adult woman whose identity has still not been established. A post mortem examination held on Monday did not shed light on the cause of death and a further examination is expected today as police also await DNA tests.

Divers with specialise gear were yesterday unable to enter the water to recover a second suitcase detected by a robotic camera.

A search using a robotic camera all day yesterday did not detect a third suitcase.

The suspect is in custody for killing five women and two children.

He has told police he put the bodies of Livia Florentina Bunea, her eight year daughter Elena Natalia and of Maricar Valdez Arquiola in suitcases and threw them into Kokkini Limni. He also told police he dumped the body of six year old Sierra at Xyliatou.

A second body found in the mine shaft is believed to belong to Arian Palanas Lozano  from the Philippines, but the results of DNA tests are still expected for final confirmation.

A body found in a well in Orounta firing range is believed to belong to a woman from Nepal. Here too identification is pending.

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