A man has been arrested on premeditated murder charges after police positively identified a body found in a vacated property in Nicosia, with sources suggesting both suspect and victim were from the same country.
Police said a 64-year-old male was detained on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Liliana Niteanu, a 55-year-old Romanian woman whose body was found a day earlier in an abandoned midtown house.
Niteanu’s body was found under a pile of clothes on the second floor of the vacated property, where she was thought to have found shelter.
Police identified their prime suspect after the body was positively identified, with reports saying Niteanu’s face had been battered and bloodied beyond recognition.
State forensic pathologist Nicholas Charalambous, who carried out a post mortem on the victim, determined that Niteanu’s cause of death was hemorrhagic shock resulting from blunt force trauma.
Local media said Niteanu, who was described as a homeless person, was living in the house with another male but police declined to comment on the man’s nationality or whether he was a person in the victim’s social environment.
Neighbors reportedly told investigators they had seen a half-naked man exiting the house at least a day prior to the discovery of the body, while other witnesses suggested Niteanu had been living with a man in an abusive relationship.
Police said they were sifting through security camera footage in the area but did not clarify whether they were looking for evidence to tie the suspect to the crime or identify any other possible suspects or persons of interest.
Unconfirmed reports in local media said the house was a known hangout for junkies and for people who were homeless, while the couple was said to have been battling a drug addiction.
The suspect was scheduled to appear Thursday for a remand hearing before a Nicosia district judge.