The family of a missing Romanian girl, who called police three times for help to say she had been beaten and raped by a man who had kidnapped her while she was hitchhiking, have released what they say are recordings of the phone calls.
“Please stay with me on the line, I’m really scared,” Alexandra Macesanu told a police officer while crying during her third and last call, according to a transcript released on Facebook by her uncle Alexandru Cumpanasu.
The suspect, 65-year-old mechanic Gheorghe Dinca from Caracal in the south of the country, has told police he killed the 15-year-old and another girl.
The teenager, who is now presumed dead, disappeared on 24 July – and Luiza Melencu, 18, was last seen in April.
Romania’s national police chief and two county officials were fired last week following a public outcry over the handling of the case.
Police secured a search warrant even though one was not legally necessary, and then waited outside the property, entering it 19 hours after Alexandra called.
Mr Cumpanasu said he obtained details of his niece’s calls to the police from the Special Telecommunications Unit (STS) in charge of directing emergency calls.
“I can’t stay on the line with you, miss, I have other calls,” replied officer Vasilica Viorel Florescu, according to the transcript and audio recordings, which have not been independently verified.
“Stay there, a police car will come without fail, in two-three minutes… what the hell, calm down, the car is en route.”
Mr Florescu, a police officer from the nearby town of Slatina, told local media that he talked to Alexandra twice and gave her details to Caracal police.
He told private television station Romania TV he had disconnected the call so local police could get in touch with her.
Mr Florescu said: “I repeatedly told her to stay calm and that a police car was coming”.
On Saturday, thousands of people protested against the government at the slow response.
President Klaus Iohannis has criticised police for “mistakes and hesitations” and has warned of “harsh punishment” for everybody found to be at fault.
Prosecutors have established both girls were hitching rides to their villages from Caracal when they were kidnapped.
Insufficient public transport is a widespread problem in Romania.
Forensics tests have yet to confirm the identity of human remains found at the suspect’s home.