A man thought to be Cyprus’s first serial killer has been arrested after confessing to murdering five women and two girls, but investigators believe the real total of victims could be as high as 30.
The case, which has seen scores of women missing over the past three years, eventuated in former Greek Cypriot National Guard captain Nikos Metaxas admitting to the murders of seven people, leading police to sites across the country where remains of the victims were found — including the bodies of three Filipino women found in an abandoned mine shaft, weighed down by concrete blocks and stuffed into suitcases before being thrown in the toxic water. Underwater cameras detected the suitcases. He is also believed to have killed two of the women’s daughters, who are currently still missing.
His killing spree, which mostly focused on foreign women living or visiting Cypus, was virtually uninterrupted for three years, with police being criticised for not looking into the individual missing persons cases for each of the women.
The case started in mid April when the body of Mary Rose Tiburcio was found in a mine shaft, eventually leading police to Metaxas, who Tiburcio met on an online dating website. Tiburcio was last seen heading out on a date with the former National Guard captain.
Metaxas led police to a military firing base where they found another decomposed body, believed to be that of Nepalese woman Ashita Khadka Bista.
Although it’s not known yet the final number of victims, police are expecting it to rise significantly.