Crime investigators believe they are on the right track in solving the rural Nicosia murder, with one suspect already in custody while more arrests have not been ruled out.
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Residents outside Oikos Marathasas village were rattled by screams in broad daylight when 56-year-old Yiannoula Hadjiyianni was stabbed to death inside her own vehicle on Monday around 1:15pm. The Greek Cypriot woman worked at a grocery store in nearby Kalopanayiotis and was driving home for her lunch break.
A 40-year-old male from Georgia, who works at a local vineyard, was apprehended shortly after the murder, following information that he had flagged down the vehicle and got a ride in the backseat.
Reports described the unidentified woman in the front passenger seat as a friend of the victim who identified the suspect to police
Reports said at the time of the hitchhike stop, another female was said to have been in the front passenger seat but got off just a short distance later, leaving the man in the back to travel with the victim for some 300 metres until his stop. Reports also described the unidentified woman as a friend of the victim who identified the suspect to police.
Other reports said a woman who heard Hadjiyianni’s screams saw a person run away on foot while another local resident approached the vehicle and saw the victim stabbed in the driver’s seat. Hadjiyianni was was stabbed multiple times with a knife while state forensic pathologist Eleni Antoniou said the fatal stab was in the neck.
Authorities believe the suspect had a financial motive, after they found €1700 cash in the man’s possession during a search of his residence. Unconfirmed media reports said there were blood stains on his clothing at the time of the arrest.
According to media reports, investigators already know that the suspect had bought a knife from a souvenir shop the morning of the murder while unconfirmed reports said he had a flight booked for the evening.
Police did not say if there were other suspects in the case but they have not ruled out more arrests. Media reports also said the investigation was moving along and a key question was to ascertain whether the suspect acted with advance planning.
The suspect was set to appear in court on Tuesday for his remand hearing while CID Morphou are investigating the case.