Italy has been gripped by anger and mourning following the death of a young woman, allegedly at the hands of her possessive ex-boyfriend, prompting the Italian premier to pledge a crackdown on domestic violence, which has already claimed over 50 lives of women this year.
Filippo Turetta, who had been on the run since November 11th when he was last seen in a physical altercation with 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, was apprehended by German police over the weekend. Roadside video cameras had captured the violent incident. Cecchettin’s lifeless body, reportedly bearing multiple stab wounds, was discovered wrapped in plastic on Saturday near Lake Barcis in the province of Pordenone, north of Venice.
Italian media had closely followed the search for both individuals, fueled by numerous reports from friends and family regarding Turetta’s refusal to accept Cecchettin’s decision to end their relationship. Elena, Cecchettin’s sister, expressed concerns about Turetta’s possessiveness but never suspected he would harm her.
The police in the German city of Halle announced on Sunday that they had detained the 21-year-old Italian fugitive. Turetta had been wanted by Italian authorities after his car broke down on the A9 highway in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, located in eastern Germany.
Italian news outlets reported that police surveillance cameras had tracked Turetta’s black Fiat Punto as he drove through mountainous terrain in northern Italy, crossed into Austria, and eventually reached Germany. State-run RAI radio indicated that Turetta had consented to extradition, with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stating that he was expected to return to Italy within days.
The tragic fate of Cecchettin, a young woman on the brink of graduating with an engineering degree, had dominated headlines for a week. Her body’s discovery prompted an outpouring of grief and anger. Even Turetta’s parents attended a candlelit vigil in her memory. On Sunday evening, RAI led its main news program with a backdrop featuring portraits of all the women who lost their lives this year.
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni expressed her outrage at Italy’s longstanding issue of partner or ex-partner violence against women, emphasizing that it appeared to be worsening. She cited Interior Ministry data indicating that out of the 102 women killed in Italy this year up to November 12th, 53 had died at the hands of their current or former partners.
Meloni stated on social media, “Every single woman killed because she is ‘guilty’ of being free is an aberration that cannot be tolerated and that drives me to continue on the path taken to stop this barbarity.”
A government-backed bill, which has already passed the lower Chamber of Deputies and is set for the Senate later this month, aims to enhance preventive measures for safeguarding victims of domestic violence.
Furthermore, the Interior Ministry called on all schools to observe a minute of silence on Tuesday in honor of Cecchettin “and all abused women and victims of violence.”