After Cyprus Police Criticized, Scotland Yards Steps Into Serial Killer Case

FILE - Members of the Cyprus Special Disaster Response Unit search for a suitcase in a man-made lake, near the village of Mitsero outside of the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

While police have a confession from an Army Captain they won’t name, who said he murdered six women he dated, and a six-year-old girl who was the daughter of one of them, Scotland Yard detectives from the United Kingdom were called in to help speed the case.

That came after Cypriot police were blistered with criticism for ignoring the disappearance of as many as 30 women, foreign workers, accused of not caring and acting indifferently until a tourist found a body in a mine shaft, setting off an intensified investigation.

Spokesman Andreas Angelides said the experts that Cypriot authorities had invited to advise in the killings of seven foreign women and girls met with the Chief of Police and lead investigators.

Angelides said authorities are working to overcome difficulties in locating two bodies inside a toxic lake where the suspect — who confessed but is still called a suspect — told investigators he dumped them after putting them inside suitcases.

Angelides deflected mounting criticism that police botched the initial missing persons’ reports, saying that an internal investigation is underway as the case has gripped headlines around the world.

The body of a fourth woman inside a suitcase was retrieved Sunday from the man-made toxic red lake, west of the capital of Nicosia, through the use of robotic cameras to search the water and as police said they’d found a second suitcase.

The suspect met at least some of his victims on an internet dating site, where he used the name Orestes, police told CNN. Authorities said they will begin to review the online activities of other women who have gone missing to see if they had contact with the suspect, fearing the list of victims may grow.

Authorities began their investigation after finding the body of 38-year-old Marry Rose Tiburcio, from the Philippines, in a flooded mine shaft in Nicosia, on April 14. Tiburcio and her 6-year-old daughter were reported missing on May 5, 2018. The child, whom the suspect has claimed he killed, has not been found.

Days later, a second body, believed to be that of a 28-year-old woman also from the Philippines, was found in the shaft, police told CNN. Both women had accounts on the same dating site, police said.

Police recovered a third woman’s body near the village of Orounda, west of Nicosia. The investigator assigned to the case said the body may be that of a Nepalese woman, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

Now, police turned their attention to the Mitsero Red Lake, on the site of a closed copper mine around 17 miles from Nicosia which the confessed killer said he used as his favorite site to get rid of the bodies.

The state news agency said the victims are believed to be 36-year-old Livia Florentina Bunea from Romania and her 8-year-old daughter, Elena Natalia Bunea, as well as Maricar Valdez Arquila, a 31-year-old woman from the Philippines.

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