Police are still trying to determine the extent of the crime after the bodies of two women were found in an abandoned mine shaft in Mitsero, police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou said on Monday.
He spoke as police and the fire services continue to search for more bodies in the abandoned mine shaft and in a lake at Xyliatos, including of the six year old daughter of the first victim.
Chrysostomou said police were investigating “a form of crime which is unprecedented for Cyprus, the extent of which it is too early to evaluate.”
Such crimes, he said, tended to occur in counties with a large population, and there only rarely, he added.
The police chief also addressed criticism that police had failed to act effectively when the first victim and her daughter were reported missing on May 5, 2018.
Police acknowledge and respect the questions raised and will be investigating, he assured. Should these indicate weaknesses in the system these will be addressed and should they show dereliction of duty then those responsible will be called to account, he added.
But he said the first priority was for police to solve this particular case.
Criticism on police’s handling of the case
Friends of the 38 year old victim made desperate attempts to find her after she went missing on May 4, 2018, only to be told that she had probably gone to the Turkish-occupied north, the president of the Housemaids Association of Cyprus (HMA) Louis Koutroukides told Radio Active on Monday.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has said that police’s handling of the case will be reviewed but added that priority now was to resolve this case.
And police have issued an announcement saying that Larnaca CID had immediately acted on being informed the woman and her child were missing, interviewing members of her environment and issuing a missing persons announcement appealing for information.
Koutroukides told Radio Active that in August 2018 he had been approached by the victim’s friends who were desperate to find her and the child.
He contacted police only to be told. “Your are fretting over a Filipino woman and her daughter. She’s bound to have gone to the occupied north.”
Koutroukides said that Mary Rose had not gone up to pick up her salary, nor informed her friends, therefore it was not logical to assume she had left. In any case, her passport was found after her body was discovered.