A 61-YEAR-OLD Russian multi-millionaire, a permanent resident of Limassol, was found strangled and hastily covered up with tree branches on an Ayios Tychonas beach early yesterday morning.
While investigators were initially reluctant to confirm that the man – named last night as multi-millionaire property dealer Yuri Kyrilov – was murdered, a post-mortem later showed the victim had been strangled to death, following a struggle with his attacker.
“The man was strangled by someone using his hands. The body has several injuries, which could be signs that a struggle preceded death,” confirmed pathologist Nicolas Charalambous who performed the post mortem.
The fact that Kyrilov’s body was found covered by tree branches was the initial indication that he was murdered, police said. “We are concerned by the fact that the body was half-covered by tree branches. Apparently, someone covered the body after he died,” said Deputy Chief of Operations Andreas Krokos.
The body was discovered by a resident of a nearby building in the early morning. The resident thought the tree branches looked suspicious from his balcony and approached the spot next to the seafront walkway where the body lay. He then alerted the police.
Kyrilov’s body was found face down inside a ditch next to the popular walkway. The post-mortem determined the 61-year-old had died 10 to 12 hours prior to his body being discovered. The murder therefore took place on Sunday evening. Despite evidence of what could have been an extended fight at the scene, it has not been verified whether the man was killed at the beach or somewhere else before being dumped there. However, police have confirmed that the victim owned a beachside apartment just a few hundred metres from the spot where his body was discovered.
Police investigators found personal items carried by the victim, including a very expensive watch, €50 in cash, some pills, his keys and mobile phone. Next to the body, police found a large syringe usually containing a veterinary anaesthetic, as well as a needle. Police, however, have not yet confirmed if the syringe had been used by the victim, or by his attacker.
“We have traced several pieces of evidence, including a syringe. We cannot say, however, if it had been used by the deceased or by any other person. It may have been there from before,” said Krokos.
Meanwhile, police investigators have contacted Kyrilov’s son, who also resides in Limassol. The man’s statement to police is expected to shed some light on the case, which at present remains a mystery.