Dutch resident Iris Abas lived in Idanha-a-Nova, central Portugal, for 20 years

Community in shock as man suspected of killing much-loved foreign resident is released from jail after confessing to crime

A 33-year-old Bulgarian man arrested on suspicion of stabbing his 62-year-old Dutch partner to death and setting fire to her body in Idanha-a-Nova (central Portugal) has been released from jail, even after confessing to the crime.

The news has shocked the local community while the victim’s two daughters who live in Switzerland are said to be horrified by the incident, reports Correio da Manhã tabloid.

According to reports, the judge released the man as it was still unclear whether the body was in fact that of Íris Abas’ as DNA testing had not yet been carried out at the time he was being questioned.

Says CM, all other evidence was bewilderingly ignored, such as the fact that the man had confessed to killing her.

Also allegedly “ignored” were reports from neighbours who claimed that there was a “history of violence suffered by the victim, Íris Abas, at the hands of her younger partner, Christo Peev”.

The carbonised body was found in a small shed next to her house, where she frequently spent time. She is believed to have been killed on Thursday, April 16, although her body was only found the following Monday, April 20 by GNR police.

According to press reports, a neighbour went looking for her on Friday (April 17) and it was then that Peev came to the door of Íris’ house and said she had gone to Switzerland to visit her daughters. This immediately raised suspicions as the country’s borders are almost completely closed and there are flight restrictions in place due to the ongoing State of Emergency.

According to the tabloid, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is going to contest the decision to release the man under the ‘Termo de Identidade e Residência’ regime – under which a person is released but cannot leave the country and must report to a local police station frequently.

Íris Abas lived in Idanha-a-Nova for nearly 20 years and was a beloved member of the local community.

“She led an alternative lifestyle, and everyone was very fond of her,” said a close friend of the victim, who apparently had already advised her to file a complaint against the man. Peev, claims the victim’s friend, would come by her house as he pleased, and they were “constantly arguing”.

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