The chief of police says the investigation in the Strovolos double murder is getting closer to the end, with investigators waiting to see if any evidence would link directly any of the four suspects to the murders besides their testimonies against each other.
Four known suspects remain in custody with the remand of one of them, the 33-year-old main suspect, expiring Friday. He was arrested along with three other suspects later, his 21-year-old girlfriend, his 23-year-old brother, and another 22-year-old man, in connection with the murders of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou.
The suspects are facing burglary and murder charges in the case where, on April 18 around midnight, the murdered couple was found savagely stabbed to death multiple times in the bedroom of their own house in Strovolos, Nicosia.
Questions still remain as to why certain evidence appeared to have been left behind as well as why the victims were murdered with so much menace, being stabbed savagely over 30 times collectively.
DNA testing is expected to show whether the knife was used in the murders
Other evidence were found outside the home, including a pyjama and a knife, with latest reports saying they were found in a bucket of chlorine. DNA testing is expected to show whether the knife was used in the murders and whether there is suifficient basis to renew the remand for any of the suspects. But it is not clear whether police have received the results and it is unlikely they will share them publicly according to sources.
Investigators are building a case against the suspects, with the 33-year-old man emerging as the killer based on testimony from the other three suspects, while he is pointing fingers at his brother.
Two forensic pathologists on the case appear to agree there was a single murder weapon, most probably a very sharp knife, and a single individual who committed both murders. But results of the second autopsy have been sealed, including the exact times of death which had not been ascertained reliably during the first autopsy according to statements made by the attorney general’s office. This point was crucial as some reports suggested the two victims had been murdered separately and later placed next to each other, refuting the burglary theory.
But the teenage son of the couple, who police believe was an eye witness, told police he was taken hostage by masked men and has corroborated some information pointing to the bearded 33-year-old as the man who reportedly told the boy his parents were killed and wanted to know about the money. It later emerged that there was no money safe in the home while reports say there was at least one burglary attempt in the same house in the past.
Some crucial gaps still exist in the story but investigators believe DNA and other lab test results will soon help crack the case wide open and get more conclusive evidence as to the identity of the killer.
But the motive still remains unknown with some experts not ruling out the killer may have committed the brutal murders under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs or after realising the robbery was unsuccessful.
Police chief on the defence
The amount of media coverage and speculation prompted Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou on Wednesday to say that the case was on its way to be “completely solved” and further asked the public to have confidence in the investigators.
He also called on the media and journalists to reflect and do some self criticism, following a chaotic coverage of the case with new and often conflicting information suggesting many different scenarios of what exactly took place on Zalongou Street.
“I believe that this incident has to make us all ponder regarding the way information and discussion take place,” Chrysostomou said.
The chief also pointed out that crime went down in the last five years, making Cyprus one of the safest countries in the world.