Police in Cyprus have dredged up the body of a six-year-old girl thought to be the seventh and final victim of a serial killer who preyed on foreign women for almost three years without detection.
- Police were searching for the body of Sierra Tiburcio, the daughter of the first victim found
- The suspect is a 35-year-old Army captain who met the women online
- Police were accused of not taking the disappearances seriously because the women were foreign
Police said they had found the remains in Memi Lake, southwest of the capital Nicosia.
They had been looking for the body of Sierra, the six-year-old daughter of the first victim discovered, 38-year-old Marry Rose Tiburcio from the Philippines.
“Human remains have been found and forensic pathologists are on the scene,” a police spokesman said.
A 35-year-old Greek Cypriot Army captain has been in custody since late April on suspicion of killing five adult women and the young daughters of two of the victims.
Police said they had written confessions from the suspect, who met the women online.
The suspect has not been named because he has not yet been officially charged, despite his confessions.
Most were employed as housekeepers on the island and disappeared between September 2016 and July to August 2018.
The case, the worst peacetime atrocities against women in Cyprus in memory, has triggered outrage and horror on an island where serious crime is relatively rare.
The police chief was sacked and the justice minister resigned following accounts of bungled investigations by police who did not take the disappearances seriously because the women were foreign.
Police had been scouring the lake for weeks looking for the daughter of Ms Tiburcio, who was found dead by tourists who were shooting pictures at a mining shaft in late April.
Ms Tiburcio, who disappeared with daughter Sierra in May 2018, was the first victim to be discovered.
The funeral and burial of Livia Florentina Bunea, 38, from Romania, and her eight-year-old daughter Elena, found dead last month at another lake locally referred to as the Red lake, were to be held in Cyprus on Thursday (local time).
The Cyprus Government said it would cover the costs of the victims’ funerals.