search for 5-year-old girl in former squat in Florence

Police search former Florence squat in search for 5-year-old girl

By Region Central Italy News

Carabinieri police today began a new thorough inspection of a former squat in Florence. It is part of the ongoing search for a 5-year-old girl who lived there with her family.

The search of the former Astor hotel in Via Maragliano involved members of the Carabinieri’s Special Intervention Group (Gis). The Gis are specialised in the use of high-tech equipment.

The premises where the girl lived with her family was cleared of squatters on Saturday. 17 families totalling 54 people, including 19 minors, were mostly of Romanian and Peruvian origin. They were evicted from the building after taking up illegal residence there last September.

One was the family of Kataleya, who went missing after playing with a neighbour’s daughter on the afternoon of Saturday June 10th.

Her mother sounded the alarm when she came home from work shortly after and found she was not there.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella, Welfare Councillor Sara Funaro and social workers were on the scene. The local prefecture and city council have reportedly moved to find alternative accommodation for the evicted occupants.

Some of the squatters boarded a minivan carrying the logo of Il Girasole, a local cooperative providing support for the integration and inclusion of migrants in Florence.

Search for 5-year-old girl continues

The head of the Carabinieri police in the province of Florence said last Sunday that “all hypotheses” were being examined in relation to the case of Kata.  

Law enforcement and firefighters have carried out a massive search for the girl, but so far no trace of her has been found.

One of the possibilities under examination is that the girl was kidnapped by adults.

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