Police investigators are trying to add more pieces to the puzzle as they try to identify the woman whose body was found in an abandoned mine in Nicosia.
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A corpse that was found on Sunday at an abandoned mine in Mitseros, Kokkinoyia area in Nicosia district, is thought to belong to an Asian female according to preliminary information. The woman is believed to have been killed at a different location and then her body, tied up and wrapped in a sheet, was dropped into a well.
Two German nationals, one of them a photographer according to reports, spotted the corpse at about 15-20 metres below ground level, with experts saying the body could have have resurfaced due to rain.
Media sources also said the woman’s limbs, which had been cut off from the rest of her body, were found by crime investigators in the area.
Exact cause of death still unknown
Media sources said the woman’s limbs, which had been cut off, were found by crime investigators in the area
Two forensic pathologists, Sophocles Sophocleous and Nicholas Charalambous, conducted the post mortem but failed to pin point the exact cause of death. DNA tests have been ordered by police investigators who are also calling on members of the public to come forward if they have any information about any suspicious activity at or around the abandoned mine in the last few months.
Previous reports said the body was found in a stage of saponification with preliminary estimates setting the time of death some three years ago. But police also said on Monday that the body was most likely taken to the mine in the last few months while her death could have occurred up to a few years ago. Sophocleous and Charalambous did not offer a timeframe following the initial autopsy.
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.
Officials said they started going through files of reported missing women in the last few months and years, in an effort to find any helpful information. Police also clarified that the woman’s disappearance might have never been reported.
Initial reports that said police were not ruling out any scenarios such as an accident or suicide have been revised, with investigators treating the case as murder.
Private pathologist weighs in
Private forensic pathologist Marios Matsakis, who said on Sunday evening he was not involved with the investigation, described the murder as a “heinous crime” comparable to another double murder 25 years ago.
“This reminds me of the case of Oksana Lisna 25 years ago, in fact a double murder of two women where one body was found in Kotchiatis and the other in a village well in Kokkinochoria,” Matsakis said, adding that the killers were captured and sent to prison
Lisna, a 20-year-old Ukrainian national was in Cyprus on an artist visa when she was raped and murdered in 1993. Another woman, 28-year-old Swedish national Christina Ahfeldt Constantinidou also met her demise in a similar way after she was raped, beaten to death and her mutilated body was dumped in the Kotchiatis landfill.