Turkish ‘serial killer’ caught on minibus in Turkey’s west
İZMİRA suspected Turkish serial killer who was being sought for the murder of three people, including a Russian citizen, was caught on a minibus in the western province of İzmir after someone saw him and notified the police on June 12. The police had been on high alert for Atalay Filiz, who was also sought internationally.
“I ate whatever I found, frogs, bugs, etc.,” Filiz reportedly said in his testimony, adding that he had been hiding in a mountainous area in the city’s Gümüldür neighborhood since May 31.
According to the police, Filiz got on a minibus to go to İzmir’s Menderes district early on June 12, when a suspicious passenger saw him and notified the police. Filiz however got off the minibus, prompting a police search of all the minibuses in the district before he was located and apprehended.
Filiz presented a false ID when he was caught, but later admitted who he was, according to reports.
Three fake driving licenses and four fake IDs alongside his passport and authentic ID were found on Filiz, who also said in his testimony that he had tried to travel to Greece with a group of migrants but failed.
Filiz was being kept in the Menderes police headquarters and had received a medical exam.
İzmir Provincial Police Chief Celal Uzunkaya arrived at the headquarters and said the person who notified the police would be rewarded.
“The case was solved with the cooperation of the citizens and the police. We thank the person who notified us,” Uzunkaya said on June 12.
Meanwhile, Menderes Mayor Bülent Soylu congratulated the police for apprehending Filiz, saying that municipal officials and employees were also warned to notify the police if they saw the suspected serial killer.
“We warned our personnel working in the cleaning, park and garden departments about this, for they are always among the people. I congratulate the police. They performed a meticulous duty via taking the notice into consideration,” he said.
The suspected murderer had been on the run for more than three years after he allegedly killed his childhood friend Göktuğ Demiraraslan, the son of Maj. Gen. Hasan Hüseyin Demiraraslan, and his Russian girlfriend, Elena Radchikova, on Sept. 16, 2013.
While the motive behind the double murder remains unknown, recent reports claimed Filiz murdered the couple because they grew suspicious that Filiz was involved in the sudden disappearance of his girlfriend, Olga Seregina, who was friends with Radchikova.
According to the latest allegations, Seregina was Filiz’s first murder and he committed the subsequent crimes in order to cover up his first killing, which he reportedly committed after the woman attempted to break up with him.
Filiz is also the suspect in the murder of a 40-year-old history teacher, Fatma Kayıkçı.
While the entire country had been put on alert to find the suspected serial killer, police stated with certainty that Filiz was recently in the resort town of Çeşme in İzmir.