Investigators still searching for motive in Charlene Farrugia murder case

The police have denied that the man questioned recently over the disappearance of the then 25-year-old woman had been a suspect back in 2008

The police have denied media reports that a man who was recently questioned over the disappearance of Charlene Farrugia back in 2008 had been questioned when she originally went missing.

What are believed to be Farrugia’s remains were discovered by the police last week after a suspect in another crime admitted to the crime and indicated to the police where the remains were located.

Investigators are currently trying to establish the motive behind Farrugia’s brutal murder.

Some sections of the media reported yesterday that the latest suspect had been questioned 11 years ago but raised no suspicions at the time, however this has been denied by the police.  

“Contrary to what is being said, the suspect involved in this case was never mentioned, spoken to or interrogated by the police regarding the disappearance of a Maltese woman from St Paul’s Bay 11 years ago. The suspect’s name is totally new to this investigation,” the police said.

Farrugia’s mutilated body parts were discovered inside a shelter in the Valletta bastions last Saturday after the police were tipped off by robbery suspect, John Paul Charles Woods.

Sources close to the investigation said Woods admitted to murdering Farrugia in her Qawra apartment on 7 November, 2008.

READ MORE: Man gets seven years jail for Gżira shop hold-up

The man is understood to have mutilated the woman’s body, packed it in garbage bags and hid the remains in a secluded area in the bastions overlooking the former Phoenicia laundry.

Woods told police that he had been in a relationship of sorts with Farrugia at the time, which could suggest a possible motive. However, the sources said the facts surrounding the murder still had to be established.

They said that at this stage, the motive still needed to be established because the man had not been clear in his narrative.

Forensic tests, including DNA analysis, have to establish whether the remains belong to Farrugia but investigators are almost certain they are the woman’s given the suspect’s admission and the fact that he led police to the body.

Woods was jailed for seven years after admitting to the hold-up of a shop in Gżira earlier this week.

The woman went missing on 7 November 2008 when her car was last recorded entering Valletta with no subsequent trace of it emerging from the capital.

Investigators are now looking into the possibility that the grey Toyota Platz that belonged to Farrugia may have been scrapped. Sources excluded the possibility of the car having been dumped in the sea around Valletta and are believed to be talking to “someone”.

It may have last been driven into the capital by Woods on his way to dispose of the body remains.

Investigators are still looking for a murder weapon. “Woods has not yet elaborated on how the murder was perpetrated,” the sources said.

READ MORE: Police believe human remains found in Valletta belong to missing woman