Girl's Tragic Story Rocks Nation and Its Government

3 Romanian officials have lost their jobs over Alexandra Macesanu's disappearance
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2019 2:00 PM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2019 2:30 PM CDT
Girl's Tragic Story Rocks Nation and Its Government

The plight of a missing girl has rocked Romania and forced three officials—including the nation's education minister—out of their jobs. The tragic story hinges on emergency phone calls made by Alexandra Macesanu, 15, saying she had been kidnapped and raped after disappearing Wednesday while hitchhiking with a friend, Sky News reports. "Please stay with me on the line, I'm really scared," she said, per a transcript of the recording released by her uncle. The response: "I can't stay on the line with you, miss, I have other calls. Stay there, a police car will come without fail, in two-three minutes ... what the hell, calm down, the car is en route." But police waited needlessly for a search warrant and entered the property 19 hours later.

By then Alexandra was presumably dead, along with her friend, 18-year-old Luiza Melencu—a crime to which suspect Gheorghe Dinca has already confessed, his lawyer says, per the BBC. Law enforcement say they also found human blood and bones at his home, with a match to Alexandra's DNA. Now public outcry has led to Romania's police chief getting fired and the interior minister resigning. Then Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu was fired for saying on TV that she was taught "not to get in cars with strangers," per Radio Free Europe. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said her words revealed a "lack of understanding." Critics are calling for further resignations. (More kidnapping stories.)

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