The man who was found in the bath of his Santa Lucija apartment wrapped in garbage bags on Tuesday has not yet been identified by the police but is likely to be Victor McKeon, a 62-year-old man who lived there, police spokesman Brandon Pisani told a crime conference on Wednesday.

The body was found in an apartment in Misraħ Durell, Santa Luċija on Tuesday.

Mr Pisani said the police received a call at the Luqa station at around 2pm that Mr McKeon had not been seen for a week and that a strange smell was coming out of his house.

Once the police entered the house, they saw a blood-stained blanket and blood in various places. The dead man was lying on the bathroom floor near a blood-stained towel. 

An autopsy was held on Wednesday morning but the victim has not yet been identified. The police have taken DNA tests from a relative who lives in the apartment.

The victim, Mr Pisani said, was hit on the head with a sharp and pointed instrument and possibly died from suffocation.

The police are still looking for a foreigner who used to live with him and are in the process of tracing the victim's last steps. His background was also being considered in the investigation.

Sources told Times of Malta earlier in the day that the corpse was badly decomposed as he had been dead for between three and four days. He was found wrapped in garbage bags from head to toe.

Police and Civil Protection Department personnel forced their way into the ground floor apartment to find the body. Sources said the scene inside the apartment was a gruesome one. 

Sources said McKeon had already been targeted inside his own home in August 2017 when two men entered his apartment and stabbed him which he was in bed, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. It was his flatmate who found him injured when he returned home at around 4am. 

They said that although McKeon was known to the police, he was "not a hardened criminal”. The online database of judgments on returned one judgment over a 2016 case. However, it is an established fact that not all judgments are uploaded online. 

McKeon had been given a suspended jail term after being convicted of having bludgeoned a kitten to death with a wooden stick. He was found guilty of animal cruelty and of killing a domestic animal.

He had killed a five-week-old kitten by hitting it with a wooden joist, telling police that he had done it because the kitten appeared sick. The man was given a one-year prison suspended for three and placed under a probation order. A three-year treatment order was also imposed.

Until a few years ago, he shared his apartment with Ronald Urry, a man who was charged and who is facing criminal proceedings over his involvement in the murder of drug lord Mario Camilleri, l-Imnieħru, and his son Mario Jnr. 

The murder is being investigated by Homicide Squad head Keith Arnaud, with the assistance of district police. Magistrate Astrid May Grima is holding an inquiry. 

Tuesday’s was the second murder in three days after a stabbing at a Qawra apartment on Saturday night over which a Nigerian man has been arraigned

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