Girl, 14, allegedly murdered by man she met on Instagram after dispatcher thought emergency call was hoax
Florencia Romano disappeared on December 12 after telling her family that she was going to a friend’s house
A teenage girl has allegedly been killed by a man whom she met on Instagram. The Sun reported that Florencia Romano of Argentina could have been saved but when a neighbor called police after hearing her screams, they thought it was a hoax. The 14-year-old reportedly disappeared on December 12 after telling her family that she was going to a friend’s house.
Romano reportedly had been in contact with the accused Pablo Aranciba, a butcher by profession, through Instagram. The 33-year-old allegedly invited her to a pool party. He reportedly tempted her with alcohol and also told her that other people were coming too. Local police have arrested Aranciba and his 27-year-old partner, identified as Micaela Mendez, in connection to the killing of Romano. Reports stated that on the day of her disappearance, after leaving her house in Guaymallen, the schoolgirl boarded a bus to the city of Maipu, in the Western Argentine province of Mendoza. However, when the girl did not return home on time, her family became concerned for her safety and informed the police about it.
Local media reports have said Aranciba allegedly murdered Romano after she declined sex with him. She also reportedly screamed when the horror unfolded. However, how Mendez participated in the whole episode is not clear. The victim’s screams were allegedly heard by a neighbor who then called the police, but the dispatcher thought the call was a hoax and did not inform authorities about it. The call recording was published also in which the emergency service worker initially said cops could not find the address. Later, the person said "see you later, sir" before cutting the call. The head of the General Security Inspection, Marcelo Puertas, said that the responder has been suspended from the job and will face an inquiry.
Both the suspects were interrogated by police, who claimed that Romano left their home in the afternoon. The man also said that he escorted her to the bus stop. But when police checked CCTV cameras near the bus stop, the victim was not seen in any. Besides, her travel card did not show any other trips. One of Romano’s friends received a text message from her phone number at 6:55 in the evening. The message stated that she was at the bus stop, but her phone soon switched off. Police said that they think the message was not sent by her.
Prosecutor Claudia Rios reportedly carried out a raid at Aranciba’s house, where blood was found in one of the rooms. Several days later, remains of Romano wrapped in blankets and partially burned were also discovered in an irrigation canal in a remote place near the alleged killer's house. It has been said that a friend of the accused helped authorities in finding the body. The friend told cops that the suspect said to him that he wanted to dump the remains of a dog. Preliminary reports have stated that Romano suffered a broken skull and nose. She also had blows to the face and a deep cut on the neck. Meanwhile, Aranciba and Mendez have not yet confessed to the killing.