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Media Articles - 2000s

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10 December 2002
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Melendugno investigating the mysterious death at Narconon

La Repubblica, Italy
11 October 2002

A case of ill (delayed) treated peritonitis killed a woman at the community

LECCE - Maybe Federica, 33, could have been saved; the former drug addict fell ill at the Narconon Community in Torre dell'Orso, at Meledugno, and later died at the Vito Fazzi Hospital in Lecce. What killed her, says the autopsy, was a peritonitis. Drugs are not implied at all in the problems that have led to an attempted murder after her death: in fact, one of the community guests assaulted and stabbed an employee who did not sufficiently help the woman, and maybe underestimated her symptoms, according to the assaulter.

That pain was due to peritonitis: so says the autopsy of the woman, perfomed yesterday by the forensic [examiner] Alberto Tortorella, on behalf of the investigating magistrate of the Court of Lecce, Imerio Tramis. According to a first reconstruction, the woman was assisted at the therapeutical community at Torre dell'Orso by an employee of the facility, Rodolfo Savino, 45 of Mesagne, and driven to the hospital, where she died. Now it has to be determined what kind of assistance Federica got before arriving comatose at the emergency room of Vito Fazzi Hospital, on Monday.

According to first reports, the woman began to suffer stomach pain on Monday; she was driven to the first aid station in Meledugno where she was administered some painkillers, to no avail. Her state worsened during the night and she was driven to the hospital, where she died soon after her admission. The investigating magistrate ordered an autopsy to clarify the causes of her death.

The day after, the community employee who assisted the woman, Rodolfo Savino, was stabbed in the abdomen by Giovanni Costa, 32, who, before the assault, wrote a letter to his fellows urging them to hold out and go on with the program to its end. Costa was hold by Carabinieri soon after the assault, and was jailed with the charge of attempted murder. Savino will recover in 10 days.