A Greek Cypriot soldier, aged 35, suspected of killing victims that he met on an online dating network, has been remanded in custody after the bodies of two of his victims have been recovered from a mine shaft.

Filipino housemaid Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38, went missing in May 2018 along with her six-year-old daughter after chatting online with Orestis Apoel 35. The woman’s body was found in the mine shaft by a German tourist last week. The search is on, just out of Nicosia, to find her missing daughter.

Another body, believed to be that of Arian Palanas Lozano, was pulled out of the mine shaft just a few days later. Lozano, 28, was first reported missing by her employer in July 2018.

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It is believed that there may be other victims out there. An organisation representing third country domestic workers has reported the disappearance of three Filipino women over the past two years and claim that the police are not taking action. Louis Koutroukides, head of the Housemaids’ Association of Cyprus, had reported Mary Rose’s disappearance by contacting the police 1460 hotline, however he was told by responding officers that he could not talk to the Chief of Police but file a missing person’s report at a police station. When he went to the police station, the police would not accept the complaint because he and a friend of the victim were not related to the missing person. 

In August 2018, Koutroukides penned an open letter to Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou referring to the missing women and making reference the a possible serial killer targeting Filipino women. The letter appeared in Politis newspaper.

Cyprus police have come under criticism for failing to take reports of the missing women seriously.