As police scramble to examine collected evidence and gather statements from neighbours and those close to the victims of suspected serial killer Nikos Metaxas, the investigating officers were reinforced on Monday by a five-member team of Scotland Yard experts who are expected to assist in his interrogation.
The British team includes a pathologist, a clinical psychologist, a special counsellor with experience in such crimes, an investigator specialising in serious crime, and an expert in complex cases.
The team will be briefed on the case by the investigating team in the coming days, police spokesperson Andreas Angelides said on Monday.
The team of experts will reportedly assist the local investigators in the interrogation of the suspect and will offer counsel for the ongoing investigation.
State broadcaster CyBC said on Monday that the Scotland Yard team will also be assessing the possibility of a victim count above the seven that Metaxas has so far confessed to.
Police have said that the investigation is still far from finished, as roughly 150 statements remain to be collected, while 202 pieces of evidence that have so far been gathered still await scientific examination. Police are also searching for a third vehicle belonging to Metaxas, as it may contain further evidence to link the suspect to the crimes.
The ongoing search efforts for the remaining three bodies that the army officer has confessed to murdering have also been bolstered in recent days by the specialised equipment and divers of the private Limassol-based maritime company, Brasal Marine Services Ltd.
Fire service chief Marcos Trangolas said on Monday that the danger is extremely high for the divers, who were entering the highly toxic red lake at the Mitsero mine for the second day in an effort to retrieve the second out of the total of three suitcases where Metaxas told police he had thrown three bodies.
“The divers are nevertheless highly skilled and have worked abroad, while they also have the full support of the help centre that has been set up” on the bank of the red lake, Trangolas added.
A high-tech robotic camera, that has also been supplied by the private company, has been essential to efforts towards locating the bodies of the murdered women in all locations where search operations have so far been carried out, including the Mitsero mine shaft, Memi lake in the Xyliatos reservoir area, and the red lake in Mitsero.
Trangolas added that the company will also be bringing in sonar technology, which will be delivered from the US by Friday night and put to use at the two lakes on Saturday. The technology will use sound propagation to detect objects underwater.
The need arose after Monday’s operation for the retrieval of the second suitcase proved extremely difficult due to near-zero visibility in the red lake.
As explained by Trangolas, the divers’ movements in the lake on Sunday in retrieving the first suitcase which police said contained the badly decomposed body of an adult woman, resulted in minimal visibility on Monday and severely hampered the robotic camera’s ability to adequately scan the toxic waters.