Three men have been remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of murdering a woman whose decomposed body emerged on Tuesday in a field in the buffer zone in Athienou, near Larnaca.
The three men, an Egyptian and two Syrians, pleaded not guilty in Nicosia District Court to charges of murder in the first degree and conspiring to committee a felony.
According to reports, the police moved quickly and brought the three men before a court within just 24 hours from the discovery of the body. The first man, arrested just four hours after the discovery, is a 32-year-old Egyptian who is said to have been romantically involved with the victim, believed to be a Ukrainian.
Two men, 31 and 36, both reportedly from Syria, have been charged as accomplices with media reports saying that police detectives discovered video footage which shows the three suspects loading what appears to be a body in a van.
In comments to Philenews, police spokesperson Christos Andreou said that evidence suggests the murder was committed some five months earlier, with indications that the woman was Caucasian.
ANT1 TV reported that the victim was from Ukraine and had been living with the Egyptian suspect.
According to ANT1, evidence emerged on Tuesday that the body had been hidden by the three men in the drainage of a building near the ‘Kalispera’ traffic lights, at the entrance of Nicosia.
According to the same media outlet, an informant had come forward, reporting the murder to the police and gave information about the suspects.
As it emerged on Wednesday, the three men had moved the body to a field in Athienou and returned a few days later to pour caustic acid on the body.
The woman’s body was found on Tuesday afternoon, after a farmer had noticed a bag with clothes in his field, situated in the buffer zone between Athienou and Piroi.
Reportedly the farmer had then called a friend who is a police officer who investigated, and called for backup when he discovered the body.
Reportedly, forensic investigators examining the area and the body found that the woman had been killed elsewhere and was later transferred to the field in the buffer zone.
Police believe that the perpetrators chose to bury the body in a field in the buffer zone, knowing that there was less chance for it to be discovered.