Police believe a woman murdered in Sliema on Sunday had no link to her killer. 

The lead suspect in the crime is Abner George Aquilina, a 20-year-old from Żejtun. 

Sources close to the homicide investigation said their working theory is that victim Paulina Dembska, 29, had no connection to Aquilina and could have been killed at random. 

“We are still trying to establish whether there could have been some link between the victim and the suspect but at present, we have not identified anything and we believe this could have been a random act,” a source said.   

Prime suspect Abner Aquilina

Times of Malta has confirmed that Aquilina is the man being held by police in connection with the attack.  

Aquilina was arrested a short while after Dembska's dead body was found. He is believed to have entered a church in Balluta and raised a commotion inside, drawing police attention. 

He is now being held at Mount Carmel Hospital, a mental health facility, and the police's murder investigation has been temporarily suspended.  

Little is known about Aquilina, who has little presence on social media.

Police contacts were unable to confirm on Monday whether a dated photo of an Abner Aquilina lifted from social media was the same man being held. 

According to a government notice, Aquilina had applied for a license to be a private guard and bouncer in 2019.    

Meanwhile, police are still waiting on the full results of an autopsy on Dembska, a Polish national.

Her lifeless body was found at Sliema's Independence Gardens, just below the popular promenade by a passer-by at around 6.30 am.

She had signs of violence around her head and on her chest.

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