A 32-year-old Syrian man previously held in connection to the disappearance of two Russian women, has been remanded in custody for eight on charges of a premeditated double murder, after their bodies were uncovered over the weekend.
The suspect appeared before a Limassol court, after he had reportedly admitted to the crime and revealed to authorities the spot where he had buried the women.
The women, Alraeesi Khaiat, 43 and Mariia Gazibagandova, 33, had gone missing on 17 November. The two women had arrived in Cyprus as tourists, one at the beginning of summer, the other around one and a half months ago.
Arrested at the end of the month, the Syrian man had been held on suspicion of abducting the two women.
From the onset, however, police had suspected that the two women had fallen victim of foul play after bloodstains found at a holiday house in Kato Amiantos were matched to one of them. Bloodstains were found in the house and on an excavator on the premises.
Police had searched the premises for days without finding any sign of the women. As reported, the suspect eventually confessed, leading police to the spot where he had buried them.
Their bodies were found on Sunday at a depth of around 1.5 metres. Post-mortems were scheduled for Monday.
The suspect had reportedly taken the two women up to the holiday house in Kato Amiantos earlier in November, where they were set to stay for a week after coming to an agreement with him. The man had keys to the property as he was hired to carry out construction work on the premises.
Reports on Monday said the man admitted to shooting them with a shotgun after he realised they had been mocking him.
Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou was quoted as saying that the force regrets not being able to prevent the crime, as when the force was notified, it was already too late.
“Unfortunately, when it was reported to us that the two Russian women had disappeared, they were already dead.”
Papatheodorou said that having access to the suspect’s telecommunication data through a legal framework recently introduced was a help.
Police are also looking for two men who helped the suspect dig the hole where he buried the women, though it is unclear if they knew of the suspect’s intentions.