Devon

Exeter murder trial: Accused 'dragged body in suitcase through city'

Gergana Prodanova Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Gergana Prodanova suffered violent attacks at the hands of Kostadin Kostov when they lived in Bulgaria, the trial heard

A killer wore a disguise when he dragged the body of his ex-partner through a city centre hidden in a suitcase, a court has heard.

Kostadin Kostov, 42, murdered Gergana Prodanova, 38, at her flat in Exeter in August 2016, a jury was told.

The court heard he dragged the mother of his children along several main streets in the suitcase in darkness before dumping her next to a railway.

He was disguised in a baseball cap, the prosecution alleged.

More on the suitcase murder trial and other Devon news

The jury was told Mr Kostov had also searched the internet to find out how long it would take for the body to decompose.

CCTV shown to Exeter Crown Court captures a man as he struggles to haul a suitcase at 05:00 BST on 7 August - three days after her death - occasionally stopping to catch his breath.

Mr Kostov, who is Bulgarian, denies having anything to do with the murder.

However, the jury was told 19 CCTV sightings of a man with a baseball cap on and tight-fitting clothes bear an uncanny resemblance to the defendant.

Prosecutor Simon Laws QC said: "He had someone he had killed in the top floor in the middle of a community and he didn't have a car. His opportunities were limited."

He claimed "jealous and controlling" Mr Kostov murdered hotel worker Ms Prodanova, whose naked body was found almost two weeks after her death when a railway worker noticed a foul smell in the embankment.

She came to the UK in December 2015 and found a home, job and a new man - but "jealous and obsessive" Mr Kostov wanted to win her back, he said.

The jury was previously told Mr Kostov flew to the UK in April 2016 and moved in with Ms Prodanova in a small flat on Mount Pleasant Road in Exeter.

The trial continues.

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