A male suspect in the death of a teenage girl in the north was handed over to Turkish Cypriot authorities on Wednesday, after he crossed south and identified himself to Greek Cypriot law enforcement.
Local media said a young man wanted by Turkish Cypriot police in the north had crossed into the south on Wednesday and walked into a Greek Cypriot police station where he identified himself.
The young man was wanted in connection with the brutal murder of a teenage girl, an activist musician who was attending a vocational school in the north.
According to Turkish Cypriot media, the body of 16-year-old Zehie Helin Reessur was found by workers at a construction site in Famagusta on Wednesday morning. Forensic examiners said the victim had external signs of head trauma possibly caused by a blunt object.
The suspect was believed to have left his vehicle behind when he crossed south while his photo was published by Turkish Cypriot police. Reports said a Turkish soldier in Derynia notified authorities after reportedly spotting a suspicious abandoned black jeep in the area.
Greek Cypriot police sources said the suspect identified himself in the late afternoon around 5pm at a local police station, where he also attempted to make claims concerning the case.
Police did not provide details about any statements made by the suspect except to say he made certain claims.
Local media later reported the suspect was handed over to Turkish Cypriot authorities through the facilitation of UN officials.
A video on social media showed Turkish Cypriot police officials processing the suspect just after a quick handover at the Ledra/Lokmaci checkpoint in Nicosia.
The quick action by Greek Cypriot police without delays was praised by social media users in the north.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar also praised the work of the divided island’s bicommunal crime committee, adding that Reessur’s death “shook the conscience of the community.”