Bucharest, ROMANIA – Romania’s prime minister has fired her education minister over her “deeply wrong” comments about a kidnapping case.
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said Ecaterina Andronescu’s remarks about a teen’s abduction show a “lack of understanding”.
Alexandra Maceseanu, 15, was kidnapped west of the capital, Bucharest, last Wednesday.
Ms. Andronescu said on TV she was taught “not to get in cars with strangers”.
The comments, Ms Dancila wrote in a Facebook post, were irresponsible, but Ms Andronescu said she did not intend to blame the victim of her partents.
The education minister is the latest Romanian government official to lose her job over the case, which has caused public outcry.
Romania’s police chief Ioan Buda has been sacked and interior minister Nicolae Moga has stepped down, but critics are demanding more resignations.
Authorities have been criticized for what is seen as their slow response to Alexandra’s three emergency calls.
What happened to Alexandra?
Alexandra disappeared last Wednesday while hitchhiking to her home in the southern city of Caracal, police said.
Police waited for 19 hours to search the property where she was being held, by which time she was presumed dead.
On Tuesday, Alexandra’s uncle, Alexandru Cumpanasu, released what he said was a transcript of her calls to emergency number 112.
In one conversation, she pleaded with an officer to “please stay with me on the line, I’m really scared”, only to be told other calls were being dealt with, according to the transcript.
Who is the suspect?
Suspect Gheorghe Dinca, who is custody, has told police he killed Alexandra.
The 65-year-old also admitted killing another teenage girl, 18-year-old Luiza Melencu, who has been missing since April.
Mr Dinca’s lawyer, Alexandru Bogdan, told Romania’s national news agency Agerpres on Sunday that his client had “confessed (to) his crimes”.
Police found human remains during a search of Mr. Dinca’s home but are yet to confirm whether they match the HNA of either Alexandra or Luiza.
The results of DNA tests are set to be announced next announced next week, according to local media reports.
Police said they suspected the human remains found at the property – which were sent for testing – belonged to the girls.
On Friday, investigators said they had received preliminary forensics results, but would only release them pending further analysis.