New investigative reports drew possible links between the decomposed body of a Vietnamese woman found in north Nicosia and the suspected serial killer in the south known as Orestis, who is said to have admitted to seven murders so far.
(Click here for an update to the story)
The body of a 40-year-old woman from Vietnam, who was reported as missing back in October 2017, was discovered near Ercan airport in the north on 6 January 2019 in a stage of complete decomposition.
Police dismiss the possibility of Orestis having any involvement in the specific case in the north, while sources say the suspect travelled back and forth many times
Crime investigators at the scene, at that time, said the corpse was wrapped in plastic bags and a blanket and thrown in a ditch some 30 metres off the highway near the airport.
Turkish Cypriot authorities also told media back in January that they believed the corpse was moved from another area, suggesting that the crime was committed elsewhere, according to AlphaNews Live. According to a Turkish Cypriot media outlet one day following the discovery, preliminary results estimated the time of death some five months earlier.
Officials in the north were said to be in communication with their counterparts in the south through the bicommunal crime comittee to examine the possibility that the death of the Vietnamese woman could have been connected to the serial killer case.
Knews understands the woman was living and working in the north, while it has not been clarified whether Turkish Cypriot police requested information about possible electronic communication she may have had with the suspect. According to Kathimerini Cyprus, Orestis denied any involvement during interrogation.
Police in the south also dismissed the possibility of Orestis having any involvement in the specific case in the north, but sources told Knews the suspect had travelled back and forth many times and some questions could be further examined.
Media reports in the south cited sources that said Orestis crossed into the north in May 2018, around the time that a Filipina woman with her daughter had disappeared. Authorities in the south are still looking for the missing girl who is feared dead, while the body of her mother, 38-year-old Filipina Marry Rose Tiburcio, was discovered earlier this month, unraveling a shocking and unprecedented case for Cyprus.
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Hundreds of people in the Republic of Cyprus protested outside the Presidential Palace on Friday evening, calling for the resignations of the justice minister and chief of police.
Law enforcement came under heavy criticism after serious allegations of mishandling cases of missing women surfaced in the wake of the murders.
The suspect appeared before a Nicosia judge on Saturday morning, where he was remanded in custody on all seven murders for eight more days.
This story was updated April 28 with indications of no link between Orestis and the sepcific death of a Vietnamese woman in the north