A group of curious bikers were behind the discovery of the first body in the serial killer case that shocked public opinion in Cyprus and around the world.
(Click here for an update to the story)
According to Alpha, a local biker with two of his buddies were on a road trip on Sunday, 14 April 2019, when they stopped at the old and abandoned mine shaft in Mitseros to see the place where scenes of a movie had been filmed.
The thrill-seeking men approached the flooded shaft to look down but the view was obstructed by objects, according to a biker who spoke to AlphaNews over the phone but wished to remain anonymous.
“We were there chatting and taking photos and suddenly, out of the blue, a friend grabbed a piece of rock and threw it down the well,” the man said.
The biker went on to explain they could only see through a tiny hole, and when the rock hit the water surface at about 15-20 metres below ground level, they saw a layer of dirt moving and revealing an object that seemed like a plastic bag.
“We found a corpse,” one of them teased.
The biker also spoke about a German couple who were at the mine that day and had a powerful camera. Initial reports had attributed the finding of the body to the German tourists, saying they spotted a corpse while taking pictures.
The biker told the tourist there was a way to get down there but warned him it could be dangerous because the wooden ladder was very old
“They were inside their vehicle at the time and had started the engine to leave. We flagged them down because we knew they had a professional camera and asked them if they could lend us the camera so we could get a better zoom inside the shaft because our mobile phones were not up to the task,” the man said.
The caller then said he went back to the mine shaft with the German couple, while his two friends were waiting at the spot where they had parked the motorbikes.
“It sure does look like a dead body,” the German man told the biker.
At that point, the biker told the tourist there was a way to get down there but warned him it could be dangerous because the wooden ladder was very old.
The two men decided to climb down the mine shaft to get a closer look, while holding onto metal bars for added safety.
“We used a stick to uncover the body but due to the dirty and contaminated water, it was not clear what it was exactly,” the biker said.
“We then poked the body to turn it over and quickly realized it belonged to a human and the feet were tied together, so we called my buddies up there and told them to notify the police immediately,” he added.
Click here for the latest on the search for slain victims
One suspect in custody has been charged with seven counts of murder and one rape so far, while authorities believe there could be a lot more victims.
Nikos Metaxas, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot army captain also known online as Orestis, admitted to investigators that he killed seven foreign females including two children, while he denied the rape allegations.
Police have been receiving many calls from people who say they saw the suspect or have information about him.
Five bodies have been retrieved so far while divers are still searching for at least two known victims at the bottom of two lakes in rural Nicosia.
- Marry Rose Tiburcio, 38, Philippines (DNA confirmed)
- Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, 6, Philippines (missing, feared dead)
- Αrian Palanas Lozano, 28, Philippines (DNA confirmed)
- Maricar Valdez Arquiola, 30, Philippines (missing, presumed dead)
- Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, Romania (body identified)
- Elena Natalia Bunea, 8, Romania (body found)
- Asmita Khadka Bista, 30, Nepal (DNA pending)