Romania police chief sacked after girl's murder

People light candles at a makeshift memorial in Bucharest to commemorate the teen. PHOTO: AFP

BUCHAREST (AFP) - The chief of police has been sacked in Romania after the murder of a 15-year-old girl who telephoned three times to report her own kidnapping.

"I called for the sacking of the police chief... because drastic measures are required," said Interior Minister Nicolae Moga late on Friday (July 26).

The girl, identified as Alexandra, was snatched Wednesday as she tried to hitch-hike home to Dobrosloveni in southern Romania, police said.

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

Police chief Ioan Buda had told journalists she shouted down the phone, "He's coming, he's coming" before the phone call was cut off.

Relatives of Alexandra alleged the police failed to take the alert seriously and finally reacted too late.

Three buildings were searched by officers 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.

They found "human remains", which are being analysed, and jewellery the girl wore, police said.

A 65-year-old suspect found in the building was still being held for questioning, media reported Saturday.

"The resignations of all those who mishandled this case which had such dramatic consequences are obligatory," said President Klaus Iohannis.

Police have admitted that a second teenager, whose parents reported her missing in the same area three months ago, may have been murdered by the same killer.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.