DIICOT chief: Unless we have clear conclusions that girls would have been murdered we cannot neglect any lead

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The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) chief prosecutor Felix Bănilă has held a press conference on Wednesday, stating that the top priority in the Caracal case is to find the truth by technical evidence. “We cannot neglect any lead that we might find out including from mass media”, DIICOT head underlined.

“Unless we have clear conclusions on the fact that the girls would have been indeed murdered, they are just reasonable lines of the inquiry, but unless we clearly establish the murders, we cannot neglect any other lead”, said Felix Bănilă.

The DIICOT chief prosecutor announced that the Directorate is not currently having the preliminary results on the bone fragments seized from Gheorghe Dincă’s house, so the information in the public space is not yet confirmed.

“I want to officially inform you that so far we don’t even have the preliminary conclusions of the genetic and anthropological tests on the bone fragments taken from the scene and that’s why, all that was released in the public space are just pieces of news that have not been officially confirmed. I want to assure you that, as soon as we have at least the preliminary conclusions of these tests, we will release them immediately”, Felix Bănilă pointed out.

He also mentioned that the aggressor Gheorghe Dincă, currently under arrest, had been transferred to the hospital of Jilava Penitentiary, to undergo psychiatric and forensic examinations ordered by the case prosecutor.

DIICOT head said that there have been APBs put on the two girls, Luiza Melencu (aged 18, reported missing since April) and Alexandra Măceșanu (aged 15) since April 15 and July 25 respectively.

The main suspect in this case, Gheorghe Dinca has confessed to murdering the two girls.

At this moment we cannot neglect any version. We want with all our heart to find the girls alive. I am myself father of two girls. We also express our regret for this situation that the families of the two girls are going through,” the DIICOT chief prosecutor said.

As for the questions on DIICOT’s authority to investigate this case, Bănilă said DIICOT is definitely authorised to conduct the criminal prosecution in this file based on GEO 68/2017 that is regulating DIICOT activity. DIICOT has exclusive authority on cases of children and human trafficking.

The barrel where bones have been found is an improvised heater

At the same time, Felix Bănilă, explained that the barrel where bones fragments had been found is an improvised heater, acting like a stove.

“Admitting the victim would have been burnt in a metallic barrel. I went on the scene and saw with my eyes. It is not a real barrel, it is an improvised heater, most probably made by the defendant to burn various objects. It serves as an improvised stove”, DIICOT chief said.

Investigators have found at Dincă Gheorghe’s place on Friday burnt clothes in a barrel, bones, jewels and five packages of meat in his freezer (but it was revealed later on that none was of human origin).

Evidence that Alexandra was in the aggressor’s car and house. Dinca’s confuse statement on the bodies

DIICOT head also detailed that Gheorghe Dincă had become confuse when he was asked where he had thrown the girls’ bodies. “We cannot rely just on his testimonies. He seemed to have been cooperating, but when we asked him where he had thrown the bodies he got confused. He said he had thrown the 15yo victim in Olt, but later on he said in the Danube,” Bănilă said.

What is for sure so far that at least Alexandra Macesanu’s had been in his house and in his car, as her DNA had been found in Dincă’s house and car , but not on the bone fragments in the heater.

In the first instance, the defendant did not confess to the murders, but after the talks with the investigators and with his lawyer, he admitted. We are also wondering what made him confess?”, Bănilă  added.

DIICOT chief said the investigation is also focusing on the way the 112 operators have managed the case.

At the same time, the case prosecutor who managed the Caracal case in the first place is subject to a disciplinary investigation.

Prosecutor Cristian Ovidiu Popescu from Caracal is accused of serious dereliction of office, as he would not have allowed policemen to break into the aggressor’s house before 6 a.m. on Friday, July 26.

Nicolae Alexe, former deputy chief of Olt Police has stated that he had proposed prosecutors to break into Gheorghe Dincă’s house,but magistrates disagreed as they doubted the victim was there.

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