Cypriot captain Nicos Metaxas, 35, who allegedly confessed to killing seven foreign women and girls in three years, appeared in court just as police announced that they had recovered a fifth body from the lake where he dumped his victims.

They retrieved another suitcase containing the remains of a human body, the second to be found in a week.

Cypriot Phileleftheros newspaper reported that the body is said to be that of a child in an ‘advanced state of composition’. The two children who were killed are believed to be the six-year-old daughter of one of his victims and an eight-year-old Romanian girls.

The murders of the island nation’s ‘first-ever serial killer’ first came to light on 15 April when the body of Filipina Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38, surfaced at an abandoned mine shaft. He was arrested on 18 April.

At court, Nicosia’s Criminal Investigation Department Chief Nelphytos Shailos referred to the allegations that a 19-year-old Filipina woman was raped by Metaxas after she filed a complaint against him. The accused denied the allegations. The woman brought those complaints against the army officer after she applied for a modelling photo shoot he offered in 2016.

READ MORE: ‘Sexist, nationalistic, militaristic’ – the environment that led to Cyprus’ first serial killer

The accused appeared in court without a lawyer and has been remanded in custody for another eight days.

Protesters held banners and candles as they demonstrated in support of victims. 

All the women and girls that Metaxas is believed to have killed were reported missing to the police, except one from Nepal that was reported to immigration authorities. The police are being accused as not having done enough to prevent Metaxas from continuing the killings and showing institutional racism.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou resigned on Thursday, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday fired his top police officer Zacharias Chrysostomou.

Police are now sorting through 350 witness depositions, using robotic equipment to find further victims in the lake, and assessing data found on electronic equipment belonging to the suspect.