Thousands protest in Romania after police take 19 hours to tackle child kidnapping - The teen had made three emergency calls to report her own kidnapping and given clues to her whereabouts.

A murder suspect in the southern Romanian town of Caracal has admitted to killing two teenage girls, his lawyer has said, in a case that sparked nationwide outrage over the way authorities handled it.
Gheorghe Dinca, 65, a mechanic, has been detained pending an investigation into the deaths of Alexandra Macesanu, 15, who was last seen earlier this week, and Luiza Melencu, 18, who was reported missing in April.

“He confessed the facts,” Dinca’s lawyer Bogdan Alexandru told reporters at the suspect’s residence in Caracal. He said he could not yet elaborate.
Macesanu called the emergency number 112 three times, saying she had been kidnapped by a man while hitchhiking to her home village from nearby Caracal. She had yelled “he’s coming, he’s coming” before the phone call was cut off.
Critics allege that officials failed to take the alert seriously and finally reacted too late to help save the girl.
Official statements show it took authorities 19 hours to locate and enter Dinca’s residence, as they struggled to locate her calls with improper technology, tried to secure unnecessary search warrants and dealt with insufficient police staff.

Thousands of Romanians protested against the government on Saturday, outraged by authorities’ slow response, as well as changes the ruling Social Democrats made to legislation which not only weakened the fight against graft but also the legal means and instruments to combat wider crimes.
Amid chants of “incompetence” and angry calls for the government to step down, demonstrators placed flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial outside the interior ministry on Saturday evening.
Prosecutors have established both girls were hitching rides to their villages from Caracal when kidnapped. Insufficient public transport is a widespread problem in Romania.
The interior minister, Nicolae Moga, announced late on Friday that he had sacked police chief Ioan Buda “because drastic measures are required” in the case, which has sparked a major outcry.
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.
Demonstrators at Saturday’s rally accused the ruling Social Democrats of weakening the criminal justice system with controversial reforms heavily criticised by Brussels.
“Why did the police not intervene earlier? Everyone needs to answer for this, from police officers and prosecutors to [Prime Minister Viorica] Dancila,” protester Cristian Nan, 55, said.
Police believe a second teenager, whose parents reported her missing in the same area three months ago, may have been murdered by the same killer.
Forensics analysts have yet to confirm the identity of the human remains they found at Dinca’s residence.

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