Woman hears of daughter death on TV
Published 07/10/2010 | 16:02
The mother of a missing 15-year-old Italian girl was told her daughter was dead as she appeared on live TV to appeal for help in finding her.
The programme's host told Concetta Serrano that her daughter, Sarah Scazzi, was allegedly killed by the girl's uncle.
Mrs Serrano was appearing on the programme, which focuses on missing people, when the host announced her brother-in-law, Michele Misseri, had allegedly confessed to murdering Sarah.
Italian news agencies had broken the story of the confession while the show was being broadcast live from inside Misseri's house in the southern Italian town of Avetrana, where Sarah disappeared in August.
Mrs Serrano, looking shocked, murmured "my brother-in-law is innocent," and "I can't believe it" as she sat in the dining room of Misseri's house.
While much of the nation watched, calls were made to the mobile phone of Misseri who, along with his wife, Mrs Serrano's sister, had been interrogated for hours and was still being questioned.
Misseri did not answer his phone, and at one point someone telephoned Mrs Serrano, who went pale. She then asked the TV show's reporter if the news was true. The anchor, Federica Sciarelli, replied: "Ma'am, perhaps it is better if you go home."
Mrs Serrano looked drawn as she said: "OK, let's go," and left the room.
Sarah disappeared on August 26 while she walked the short distance through Avetrana to her uncle's house, where she was supposed to meet a cousin to go to the beach along the Mediterranean in Puglia.
Taranto prosecutor Franco Sebastio said that police had pulled the body of a blonde girl resembling Sarah out of a cistern after Misseri had led them to a spot covered by stones, dirt and leaves.