Thousands of Italians Attend Funeral of Slain Girl

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 10, 2010 | Go to article overview

Thousands of Italians Attend Funeral of Slain Girl


Byline: Associated Press

ROME -- Thousands of people bid farewell at an open-air funeral Saturday to a 15-year-old schoolgirl whose killing -- announced to her mother on live TV -- has shocked this nation.

Sarah Scazzi disappeared Aug. 26 as she walked a short distance in the town of Avetrana, in southern Italy. She remained missing for weeks, while police combed the area for clues.

This week police pulled the body of a girl resembling Scazzi out of a cistern in the countryside just outside the town.

The girl's mother was a guest on a live TV show Wednesday night when she was told that her missing daughter was probably dead -- and that her brother-in-law was the alleged killer.

"I can't believe it," the mother, Concetta Serrano, said. She sat, apparently in shock, for several minutes as the TV show host read news reports that were coming in about the her daughter's fate.

Serrano was appearing on the show from the house of her brother-in-law, the alleged killer.

The brother-in-law, Michele Misseri, was not at home. He was at that moment being questioned by police. Investigators said later that he confessed to killing Sarah.

Some 3.5 million people watched the broadcast on state TV RAI, according to Italian news reports. Many later criticized the host for not cutting the broadcast short.

The host, Federica Sciarelli, told the mother she could choose to interrupt the live broadcast at any time. At one point, Sciarelli asked the mother if she understood what was happening.

"I am trying to understand," Serrano replied. …

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