The burnt body of Íris Abas was found inside a small shed next to the house

Son speaks out about murder of much-loved mother: “She had a big heart and only wanted to help”

The son of Íris Abas, the 62-year-old Swiss woman who was stabbed and set on fire in her house in Idanha-a-Nova (central Portugal), has contacted the Resident to refute claims of an amorous relationship between her and the prime suspect, 33-year-old Bulgarian man Christo Peev.

Asking not to be named, her son said that his mother, initially described by police as of Dutch nationality, “was just helping him because she felt sorry for him”.

“She was a person with a big heart. But he started to become aggressive and she was scared. We (her children) called the police but they did nothing, so we asked friends (to go over to the house) and they found the burnt human remains,” said the son, one of Íris Abas’ three children.

The story made headlines last week after it was revealed that the prime suspect had been released from jail even after allegedly confessing to PJ criminal police that he had committed the crime, according to national tabloid Correio da Manhã.

However, Jornal de Notícias reports that the man did not confess to the crime when he appeared before a judge, who released him as it was reportedly 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 questioned.

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

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

Human remains were 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.

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 CM, 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”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com