Romania suspect admits killing two teenage girls, charged with murder

A man in Romania has admitted to killing two teenage girls including a 15-year-old whose disappearance this week shook the country and claimed the scalp of the police chief, the suspect's lawyer said on Sunday.

The suspect, named as 65-year-old Gheorghe Dinca, "has confessed his crimes", lawyer Alexandru Bogdan was quoted as saying by Agerpres news agency.

After initially refusing to answer any questions, Dinca eventually caved and admitted to the murders of Alexandra who vanished on Wednesday and 19-year-old Luiza, missing since April.

Dinca was taken into custody on Saturday after investigators searching his home and garden found human remains and jewellery belonging to Alexandra.

She was snatched on Wednesday as she tried to hitch-hike home to Dobrosloveni in southern Romania.

On Thursday morning, he girl managed to ring the emergency number 112 three times and give clues to police about the place she was being held by a car driver who had picked her up.

She yelled "he's coming, he's coming" before the line was cut, police said.

"Gheorghe Dinca has been charged with murder. He is suspected of having killed Alexandra after having kidnapped and raped her," prosecutor Georgiana Hosu said, adding that authorities believed that the killing was similar to that of Luiza.

Hosu also said that it was believed that Alexandra was killed on Thursday shortly after trying to call for help.

The case has sparked an outcry in Romania, with thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets of Bucharest on Saturday evening.

Critics allege that officials failed to take the alert seriously and finally reacted too late to locate and help save the teen.

'Assassins'

Interior Minister Nicolae Moga announced late on Friday that he had sacked police chief Ioan Buda. Four other officials were also forced to resign.

Centre-right President Klaus Iohannis - who is frequently at loggerheads with the ruling Social Democrats - said the "resignations of all those who mishandled this case which had such dramatic consequences are obligatory".

Speaking later on Sunday, he added: "The government should ask if it was not the moral author of this tragedy."

Luiza disappeared three months ago in the same area under similar circumstances.

Her parents this week accused police of also botching the case.

They said one official allegedly implied their daughter may have run off "with her Prince Charming" when they filed their report in April.

In Alexandra's case, officers had searched three buildings before they finally found the house where she had been held, more than 12 hours after her phone calls.

Police then sought a search warrant, which is not required in emergencies, and waited till dawn to enter the house - 19 hours after Alexandra's last call.

Thousands of protesters rallied outside the interior ministry in Bucharest on Saturday evening, placing flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial.

Chanting "assassins" and "incompetence", the demonstrators demanded that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and her cabinet step down.

Critics have accused her government of weakening the criminal justice system with controversial reforms also heavily denounced by Brussels.

"Why did the police not intervene earlier? Everyone needs to answer for this, from police officers and prosecutors to Dancila," protester Cristian Nan, 55, told AFP on Saturday evening.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2089 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
47% - 8829 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
38% - 7094 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 695 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.41
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.82
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.69
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.50
+0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.1%
Gold
1,774.02
-0.3%
Silver
20.13
-0.7%
Palladium
2,155.00
+0.1%
Platinum
933.50
-0.5%
Brent Crude
95.10
-3.2%
Top 40
64,726
+1.1%
All Share
71,505
+1.1%
Resource 10
65,387
+3.3%
Industrial 25
87,072
+0.1%
Financial 15
16,239
+0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE