The search for the six year old daughter of a woman whose body was found in an abandoned mine shaft in Mitsero resumed with the first light of day on Wednesday in what police spokesman Andreas Angelides acknowledged was a particularly difficult endeavour.
Meanwhile, the 33 year old non-Cypriot former boyfriend of the victim and father of the child, is under arrest for premeditated murder and kidnap and is due in court today to be remanded in custody.
He denies any involvement in the case and says that he thought both the mother and child had left Cyprus.
Evidence points to the body found in an advanced stage of decomposition on Sunday as belonging to a 38 year old woman from the Philippines, who was reported missing by a friend in early May last year.
Angelides said police were waiting for DNA tests to confirm the identity of the victim. He added that the six year old girl was also reported missing at the time and police are actively searching for the child, currently focusing on the mine shaft.
The victim was identified from her earrings which were recognised by a friend. Phileleftheros said the friend picked out the earrings which were found on the victim from a number of others that were shown to her.
Police and the fire service are back in the area of the mine shaft as the search continues. The depth of the mine shaft, reportedly some 100 metres, and the fact that there is a lot of water makes it difficult for divers to search. Police are understood to be consulting with the fire service on removing the water. The fire service does not have the equipment to pump water from such a depth and alternatives are being considered, Phileleftheros reported.
The father is from Romania and police are expected to contact the authorities there to determine whether the child has been taken to family there.
Phileleftheros reports that the body is believed to have been there since August. It said that a woman who had gone to the site to take photographs had noticed a strong smell from the mine shaft, which at the time did not have any water. She went back in December and saw something floating which she assumed was an animal, the paper added.