Police investigators are seeking to collect secondary evidence in the serial killer case, as destruction of primary evidence is believed to have taken place early in the investigation due to a false arrest.
At least two slain victims are still missing in the serial killer case, after a month of non-stop investigation with hundreds of pieces of evidence and statements obtained by police.
But police are also dealing with the most likely destruction of hard physical evidence in the case, including a mobile phone that was believed to have contained incriminating evidence as well as possibly new information to more criminal activity.
Investigators reportedly have turned their attention to secondary evidence, such as seeking a witness through Interpol to corroborate a story by a 21-year-old Filipina, who says she was raped by the alleged serial killer, 35-year-old Nikos Metaxas also known as Orestis.
Experts said a crucial 24-hour-period could have given enough time for Orestis to destroy evidence forever
The young aspiring model filed a complaint against Orestis, saying he raped her in early 2017 inside his vehicle and videotaped the incident using his phone. She confided the alleged incident to two individuals, Metaxas’ ex-wife who confirmed her communication with the model and another female friend whom investigators are trying to reach through Interpol.
A third vehicle belonging to the suspect has also been found, with police collecting various samples for lab testing. It was not clear whether the car was suspected to have been used for murder or rape, but reports said the car was sold to another young man who was called to give statements to police.
Critics blame police for allowing a crucial 24-hour period for the suspect to destroy physical evidence, such as one his mobile phones. The SIM card of that phone was confiscated after the suspect attempted to swallow it in front of police officers, according to local reports.
Orestis was arrested on April 18, two days following the initial arrest of a Romanian national who was reportedly the ex-partner of one of the slain victims and biological father to her daughter, who is also feared dead.
During the remand hearing of the Romanian suspect, the court heard for the first time that police had been told about a man named Orestis, who was the last person to see 38-year-old Filipina Marry Rose Tiburcio and her 6-year-old daughter Sierra. A friend of Marry Rose, who helped police identify her body, had given a phone number and information about Orestis, the court heard during the remand hearing of the Romanian man.
Crucial 24-hour period
Police then looked into Orestis, which was an online profile. Then they dropped the charges against the Romanian suspect and arrested Metaxas.
Experts from Scotland Yard, who were invited to Cyprus to assist investigators in this unprecedented case, pointed out to police that the 24-hour-period they allowed from the time the name Orestis was heard in court until Metaxas’ arrest, could have given enough time for the suspect to destroy evidence forever.
Orestis has admitted to seven murders, all foreign females including two children, but denied the rape allegations. Officials say they have no evidence currently to suspect he could have killed more victims, but according to local reports, foreign experts told Cypriot police they believed Orestis may have killed more women.