Cyprus Serial Killer Case Grips World Headlines Attention

FILE - Firefighters and investigators search the man made lake near the village of Mitsero outside of the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Friday, April 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A lurid case that began with a tourist finding a body in a mineshaft that led to police – criticized for ignoring the disappearance of foreign female workers – tracking down a military officer who confessed to killing seven – has captured headlines around the world.

The officer still isn’t being named in accordance with strict privacy laws that forbid revealing the names of suspects even for the most serious or violent crimes, with the public shut out even though there was a confession and the name leaked on some sites.

The confessed killer had contacts online and elsewhere with some 30 women and so far said he murdered six for thrills and threw the 6-year-old daughter of one of them in a lake to get rid of a witness.

The case broadened when investigators hunting for more victims retrieved a suitcase laden down with a concrete block, containing the decomposing remains of a woman from the bottom of a man-made lake.

Authorities focused their search on the lake about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Nicosia, after the suspect — a 35-year-old army captain — told investigators that he put the bodies of three of his victims into suitcases and threw them into the toxic lake, part of a now-defunct copper pyrite mine.

Those victims are believed to be Maricar Valtez Arquiola, 31, from the Philippines; Florentina Bunea, 36, from Romania; and Bunea’s 8-year-old daughter, Elena Natalia. Arquiola has been missing since December 2017, while the mother and daughter vanished in September 2016.



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(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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