Friends of Mary Rose — whose body was found in an abandoned mine shaft — 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.
The body of the slain woman was found in an abandoned mine shaft in Mitsero on April 14. Police on Saturday found a second body in the mine shaft, believed to belong to another woman from the Philippines — Arian Palanas Lozano – who was reported missing in July 2018. The woman has not been official identified and a post-mortem is expected to be held today.
The search continues for Mary Rose’s six year old daughter who was last seen with her mother.
A 35 year old Greek Cypriot man, an officer in the National Guard, is in police custody in connection with the two murders. Police have told the court that he has admitted to strangling the two women, then throwing their bodies down the abandoned mine shaft.
Police and the fire services will today resume their search in the 130 metre mine shaft amid fears that there may be more victims. Since yesterday they have been using sophisticated underwater cameras obtained from the private sector with reports saying they have picked up at least one shape that looks like a body. The cameras have so far gone to a depth of 50 metres. The shaft is 130 metres deep.
Fire services director Markos Trangolas told reporters yesterday that there was a lot of debris in the mine shaft, making the operation a complex one.
Divers have also been searching Memi lake in Xyliatou where the suspect told police he had dumped the body of the little girl, so far with no results. National Guard divers will today join divers from the coastguard as the search continues.
Police have reportedly been checking their files of missing women — crosschecking them with information from the suspect’s internet activity. The suspect met both women on social media platform Badoo.
Police have come under fire for their failure to act when the roommate of Mary Rose reported her and her six year old girl missing on May 5, 2018.
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 on Monday 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.