A Syrian man, 32, is suspected of killing two missing Russian women after their bodies were exhumed in the grounds of a mountain village holiday home on Sunday, said Cyprus police chief Stelio Papatheodorou.
The man was already in police custody for allegedly abducting the women, but their bodies were found after he showed police where they were buried following days of searching.
“The police had used all available means in the previous days to locate them, but if you look at the ground, the depth and the surface, it is clear it would have been impossible to find them without his indication,” Papatheodorou told reporters.
“Unfortunately, the fears and suspicions of the police have been confirmed.”
The two women, Alraeesi Khaiat, 43 and Mariia Gazibagandova, 33, were reported missing to the police on 17 November.
The police chief said they had been shot on the day they went missing.
“According to the suspect, he was the only one who committed the crime, and according to him, he shot them with a hunting gun.”
Police have yet to piece together a clear motive for the crime.
The women arrived in Cyprus as tourists at separate times over the past several months.
Police arrested the 32-year-old last week.
Investigators said the Syrian suspect had access to a holiday home outside Limassol, where one woman’s bloodstains were discovered.
Crime investigators had located traces of blood in various parts of the premises and an excavator.
The suspect is expected to reappear in court on Monday for the double murder.