Authorities are on high alert following the discovery of a female corpse spotted by tourists in a well at an abandoned mine in Nicosia district.
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According to local media, the body of a woman was spotted on Sunday afternoon around 3pm some 15-20 metres down a mine shaft elevator at an abandoned mine in Mitseros, Nicosia district, after a group of German tourists saw something they thought resembled a human body.
Reports said the body was found tied up and wrapped in a sheet, prompting investigators to suspect murder
The tourists, who reportedly went to the site to take photographs, notified police with law enforcement officials rushing to the scene along with emergency responders.
The body, which belonged to a female of an unknown identity, was retrieved five hours later in a stage of saponification with preliminary reports saying the time of death could have been some three years ago. It is believed that the woman's body was initially all the way down the 100-metre well but due to rain and other factors, it had surfaced up to about 20 metres from the ground.
According to experts, using adipocere or corpse wax formation in forensic science to estimate time of death is limited because the speed of the process depends on temperature and it accelerates by warmth while temperature extremes slow it down.
Reports said the body was found tied up and wrapped in sheets, prompting investigators to suspect murder. Police have ordered DNA tests on the female corpse while law enforcement officials are also going through lists of missing persons for crosschecking.
Two forensic pathologists reportedly conducted an on-site autopsy while police are carrying out a full-fledged investigation.