Disturbing details of harassment and worrying behaviour from Abner Aquilina the day before he allegedly murdered Paulina Dembska have emerged.
One woman who reached out to Lovin Malta detailed how she, along with a friend, paid a visit to Xrobb l-Għaġin in Marsaxlokk on 31st December, when they were confronted by an erratic Aquilina.
“He came over the first time and we politely asked him to leave. He was darting around the beach back and forth, running around in quite an odd way. He eventually came right behind us and started hitting his head on the rocks behind us, there was even some blood,” she said.
“We asked him again to give us some space and he started shouting at us, telling us that he won’t move away. He called his two friends before running off and leaving.”
“His friends did come and apologise to us, telling us that he was dealing with some personal issues. It was a really unnerving incident that really shocked me once I saw the news.”
Less than 48 hours later, Aquilina is suspected of murdering Dembska.
Aquilina was arrested on 2nd January at 7am, soon after the lifeless body of Dembska was discovered within Sliema’s Independence Gardens, where she used to feed stray cats. She was raped and strangled, a TVM report has claimed.
Aquilina, a 20-year-old, is being treated as the main suspect. He has since been referred to Mount Carmel Hospital, while police struggle to find any link between him and his victim.
Lovin Malta has revealed how Aquilina told investigators that he was a “soldier from God” and was acting upon the orders of “frequencies” in the lead up to the murder.
Just half an hour before his arrest, Aquilina allegedly appeared at the Balluta Church, which is close to where Dembska was discovered. He reportedly approached the altar and caused a scene, overturning some seats.
The murder has shocked the nation, with many pointing to the country’s long-standing issues with femicide and violence against women as directly leading to these kinds of incidents. However, others have placed further emphasis on the mental health issue in Malta.
Several women have also claimed they were harassed by Aquilina, with Lovin Malta receiving numerous screenshots from messages sent by the murder suspect.
Some have claimed that they even reported Aquilina to the police over the harassment. However, it appears that little action was taken in this regard. Lovin Malta has reached out to the police.
If you or someone you know needs to talk about their mental health, please call national support service 179. Alternatively, visit www.kellimni.com; the Richmond Foundation’s OLLI.chat to get in touch online; or the Kif Int? website.
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