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12° Nicosia,
20 October, 2021
 
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Athienou murder suspect gives statement

Local media say suspect in Athienou murder case gave voluntary statement about Ukrainian lady friend

Newsroom

There are new developments in the Athienou murder investigation after local media said the main suspect was purported to have given a statement to police implicating himself in the killing of a foreign woman, whose official identity still remains a mystery.

According to Reporter, a 32-year-old Egyptian man in custody, who is suspected by police to have killed a Ukrainian woman last year, has given a voluntary statement to investigators this week, days after reports said evidence was mounting against him following the discovery of a bag near his home containing bloodied clothes.

The body of a Caucasian woman in her late 30’s, believed to be a murder victim from Ukraine, was found last month in Larnaca district, near an empty field along the Athienou-Louroujina road in the buffer zone.

Three autopsies failed to provide conclusive information on the identity of the body or time of death, but police investigators estimated that she was killed six months ago based on preliminary findings in the investigation.

Although there were no signs identifying the mummified corpse, police said they got a tip from a source who said the body belonged to a Ukrainian woman, who was later described as the main suspect’s lady friend.

The Egyptian suspect purportedly gave a voluntary statement to investigators this week, saying he had a fight with his lady friend in his apartment

But local media said police never received a missing report about the woman, while another network said there was information about possible involvement in a sex trafficking ring.

Two other male suspects, described as Syrian nationals aged 31 and 36, are also in custody with all three men facing premeditated or conspiracy charges, which they initially denied on the day of their arrest, hours after the discovery of the body on March 23.

Local media said state forensic pathologists were waiting on lab test results to determine whether bloodied clothes found two weeks ago near the primary suspect’s home belonged to the victim, believed to be a Ukrainian woman living and working in Cyprus at least since 2018.

Law enforcement officials have also asked Ukrainian authorities to obtain and send DNA samples from relatives to help confirm the victim’s identity. 

Police believe the Egyptian man killed the woman and then got help from the two Syrians to get rid of the body.

Investigators also say they have camera footage showing some of the suspects in the vicinity where the body had been dumped in a sewer near the southern entrance of the capital, before being moved to Athienou where it was dug up by a farmer with his tractor.

The farmer later told media he had not realized anything because it was dark but he then contacted an acquaintance, a male officer, who then alerted authorities.

Local media speculated that a relative of the victim may have contacted police the night before the body was discovered, with police confirming they received a tip but stopping short of giving further details.

According to Reporter, the Egyptian suspect gave a voluntary statement to investigators this week, saying he had a fight with his lady friend in his apartment.

The report also said the suspect was facing more evidence piling against him before purportedly admitting in his statement that he killed the woman and dumped her body in a sewer.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Larnaca  |  Athienou  |  buffer zone  |  Ukraine  |  Egypt  |  Syria  |  murder  |  mummified body  |  police  |  sex trafficking  |  missing person

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