The suspect in the Larnaca murder of Grandpa Kokos was remanded in custody on Wednesday, with disturbing details heard in court and the judge asking him to wipe the smirk off his face.
Members of the public are still in shock over the death of 76-year-old Yiorgos “Kokos” Mavrommatis, a beloved senior citizen who was attacked and brutally killed over the weekend. Initial reports suggested he had died in an accidental house fire but an autopsy on Tuesday revealed he had also sustained multiple injuries.
State pathologist Eleni Antoniou reportedly found multiple fractures and bruises in the chest area, described as injuries that had been caused prior to the fire. Blood test results from a state lab also revealed that Grandpa Kokos did not die of smoke inhalation.
“There was no carbaminohaemoglobin in the blood, which means, according to the forensic examiner, the death of the elderly man came about not by breathing in carbon monoxide but prior to the fire,” a state lab statement said.
'I admit everything. I killed the old man and burned the place down'
The suspect, a 21-year-old male who reportedly confessed to the murder, was remanded in custody for eight days, while he is facing both murder and theft charges.
According to the prosecutor in court, a 96-year-old woman filed a report with police on Sunday morning shortly, saying an unknown male had approached her and grabbed her bag with €35 and personal items inside. The man then quickly ran away and the woman gave a description to police.
Around 7:15am, a local firehouse got an emergency call about a fire on Terra Ombras street. Fire fighters rushed to the scene and managed to extinguish the fire, with CID Larnaca investigators going inside the house and finding Grandpa Kokos’ charred body on the bedroom floor.
Crime investigators were quick to draw connection between the two crimes, after reviewing video footage from a nearby security camera that reportedly captured the suspect coming out of the Grandpa Kokos’ residence.
The court heard that the suspect went to Grandpa Kokos’ house around 5:30am and managed to break in from a side door by using physical force. He then proceeded to the bedroom where the elderly man struck him. The startled man then got furious and started hitting back, throwing the 76-year-old to the ground and stepping on his chest until he died.
Following the murder, the suspect remained inside the residence until he made sure Grandpa Kokos was dead. He then stole €50 and started a fire on the bed to destroy any incriminating evidence.
Following his exit from the residence, he then proceeded to assault the 96-year-old woman.
Crime investigators had mounting evidence against the suspect, who confessed quickly to the murder.
“I admit everything. I killed the old man and burned the place down,” he said.
Grandpa Kokos had been a target in the past
Following the arrest of the suspect, a number of witness came forward telling law enforcement officials that Grandpa Kokos had been a victim of theft in the past, with at least two young people visiting him frequently, hitting him, and stealing his money.
Two weeks prior to the murder, according to the suspect’s own confession, he went to rob Grandpa Kokos and managed to get away with €100 after using physical force.
Police also obtained statements from relatives of the victim, who told cops Grandpa Kokos had been robbed by two young Cypriot males.
Suspect dealing with mental health issues
The confessed killer was described in local media as a drug addict with mental health issues. His lawyer told the judge that he was on prescription medication but failed to take his pills in the last couple of weeks.
During the remand hearing, Larnaca District judge Xenofon Xenofondos observed the suspect who appeared to have a smirk on his face and at times laughing.
“Stop laughing sir. This is a serious case,” the judge said.