A self-confessed serial killer will remain in police custody for another eight days, the seventh such remand since his arrest in a case which has sent shock waves through Cyprus.
The 35 year old army officer has reportedly confessed to killing five women and two children. Six bodies have been recovered so far from three different locations – an abandoned mine shaft in Mitsero, a toxic lake nearby and a dry well in Orounda firing range.
But the search continues for the body of a six year old girl who the officer, who went by the online name of Orestes, said he threw in Memi lake near Xyliatou.
Requesting the renewal of the remand, police investigators told Nicosia court on Thursday that five bodies have been identified. They said 700 statements have been taken, and another 70 are pending. Nine search warrants were executed, 465 items taken into evidence while results are expected on tests carried out on the suspect’s three cars.
They added that there will be police lineups while new warrants have been issued to lift the privacy of telecommunications. A specific social media profile has been searched and the results are due.
Meanwhile, a search is expected to resume at Memi lake after equipment and personnel was moved there following the discovery of a third suitcase with a badly decomposed body at Kokkini Limni in Mitsero on Tuesday.
Fire services chief Markos Trangolas, who is coordinating the protracted search, told Radio Active on Thursday that the water levels at Memi must be lowered by at least five metres to facilitate the search.
The fire service had proposed partly draining the lake, but the Water Development Department had objected saying that there was a risk of polluting underground water sources.
Trangolas said that search parties faced huge difficulties in their efforts as the lake is three times the size of Kokkini Limni and has twice the water. He said the locations pointed out by the suspect, who has told police that he wrapped the body in a blanket and thrown in the lake weighed down by a cement block, there were bushes and reeds which impeded the search.
The fire chief would be discussing the possibility of removing some of the water again today, with other options to be discussed. He said that if the water level fell by five metres, then search parties will be able to approach the height of the bushes and reeds and have better visibility.