The lifeless body of a young Polish woman who liked to feed stray cats in a popular park in Malta has been found after she was allegedly raped and murdered.
Cops believe local man Abner George Aquilina, 20, killed English language student Paulina Dembska, 29, in an opportunistic crime when she went to the park to feed the felines.
The young woman’s dead body was found behind a fence in Independence Gardens in the town of Sliema by a passerby shortly before sunrise.
The normally popular area was sealed off and the body was taken for a post-mortem, which hopes to ascertain the young woman’s cause of death and whether she was also sexually abused, which police suspect based on the crime scene.
The police confirmed she was found with signs of violence to her head and chest area.
Aquilina, who hails from the city of Zejtun, was identified as the main suspect after he reportedly went into a nearby church shortly after the time the attack is believed to have taken place and caused a scene.
Churchgoers called the cops when the young man started overturning chairs on the altar, and officers swiftly apprehended him and took him to the Mount Carmel Hospital psychiatric unit.
According to preliminary information, the prime suspect and the victim were not known to each other, and the Polish national may have been the unfortunate victim of a random attack.
Investigators are now looking into the young man’s past, of which little is currently known, but according to the authorities, he had applied for a licence to work as a bouncer and private security guard in 2019.
According to local reports, when the suspect was arrested, he was found with unspecified items apparently linking him to the alleged crime.
It is believed Dembska, who had been living between Poland and Malta for four years, may have gone to the park to feed the resident cats, which is something she had often done previously.
She would often post photos of felines in and around Sliema on social media and would encourage others to adopt pets from animal shelters.
The investigation is ongoing.