Paulina Dembska’s parents found out about their daughter’s death through media reports with police only informing them of the tragic murder more than 36 hours after the body was initially discovered.
Speaking to Polish publication Fakt, Paulina’s parents detailed how their daughter had called them up late Sunday evening to inform them that she had seen media reports confirming that their family member was the victim.
Paulina’s body was discovered early on Sunday morning. Still, police only approached the family with the information on Monday at 4pm.
They have not been provided with any psychological assistance and were only informed about the process of repatriating Paulina’s body. A fund set up in Malta has raised over €30,000 to help with the process.
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.
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 mental health issues 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.