Autopsy shows Paulina Dembska was strangled and raped - report

The state broadcaster reports that the autopsy was finalised on Monday evening, indicating that Dembska was raped and choked

Paulina Dembska's body was found by passers-by along the Sliema promenade on 2 January (Photo taken from Facebook)
Paulina Dembska's body was found by passers-by along the Sliema promenade on 2 January (Photo taken from Facebook)

An autopsy on Paulina Dembska’s body shows that she was raped and choked by her murderer Abner Aquilina before her lifeless body was found in Sliema.

According to TVM, the autopsy was finalised on Monday evening, revealing that she was raped and had marks along her neck that indicated she was choked.

Murder suspect Abner Aquilina has not yet been charged as he is being kept under observation for a mental health assessment.

In a statement on Monday, police said that Aquilina was taken to Mater Dei Hospital for a check up shortly after his arrest. Doctors at Mater Dei then referred the man to the state mental hospital, and police had to suspend their interrogation.

Paulina Dembska was murdered at Sliema’s Independence Garden early on Sunday, 2 January – the first femicide of the year.

Her lifeless body was found just below the popular promenade by a passer-by just before 6:30am.

The police said that Dembska was living in a Sliema hostel and was here as a student.

Dembska, a frequent visitor to the gardens where she fed the cat colony, had signs of violence around her head and on her chest.

The Sliema resident was a former Warsaw University student and on her Facebook page had shared glowing comments about Malta. She lived in Sliema and pictures uploaded show her close to the site where she was eventually found dead.

The murder suspect was picked up by police outside the Carmelite parish church after raising a commotion inside the church, going up to the altar, overturning chairs and allegedly making threats before some men pulled him out and called the police. 

Days before the murder, Abner Aquilina was seen at the beach with a member of the controversial religious group River of Love.

Reports also indicate that Aquilina told police that the devil manipulated his thoughts when he killed Paulina Dembska.

Aquilina had a history of online sexual harassment. After his arrest, many women posted screenshots of unsolicited messages of a sexual nature from Aquilina when he was a teenager.

The Women’s Rights Foundation will be holding a vigil on the site of Dembska’s murder on Tuesday at 6pm. Attendees are asked to bring a candle with them.