Limassol arson attack becomes double-murder case

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Limassol police are now looking into a double-murder case after a 73-year-old woman became the second victim succumbing to burn injuries suffered in an arson attack on 8 June in the village of Pyrgos.

The 73-year-old woman, Demetra Charalambous, was being treated on a ventilator at Nicosia General Hospital burn clinic, along with a 78-year-old woman also injured in the attack last month.

A 79-year-old man, Michalakis Demetriou, died in the house fire, allegedly set by his wife’s nephew, 59-year-old Stylianos Christofi.

His wife, Katerina Demetriou, is still treated in a serious condition at Nicosia General.

The perpetrator was found dead two hours later, next to his car, about a kilometre from the crime scene.

He was found with a shot to the head and a hunting gun next to his body.

It is believed the suspect attacked his pensioner uncle and auntie, accusing them of supporting his ex-wife following their acrimonious divorce.

In comments to CyBC at the time of the attack, police spokesperson Christos Andreou said the bitter divorce was a possible motive behind the attack.

The 73-year-old woman was a neighbour who had just popped in for coffee.

According to police, the perpetrator, using a jerrycan of petrol, set fire to the living room where his aunt, her husband and Charalambous were sitting before he made a run for it.