Over €30,000 has been raised for a fundraising initiative to help repatriate the body of Paulina Dembska, the young Polish woman who was murdered in Sliema.
It has smashed the €20,000 target set, with many across the island chipping in.
The GoGetFunding page was set up by Agnieszka Gramala, a Polish resident in Malta who was friends with Dembska.
“Her family needs our support so they can start focusing on mourning the loss of a loved one. They will need funds to transport the body, cover lawsuits and legal costs to get the case to its fair end,” writes Gramala on the page.
Dembska, a 29-year-old Polish national, was murdered on 2nd January at Independence Gardens, Sliema, where she used to feed stray cats. She was raped and strangled, a TVM report has claimed.
Abner 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.
Police have asked women who claimed they were sexually harassed by Aquilina to come forward and file an official complaint, pledging to take it “very seriously”.
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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