Kidnapped 12-year-old Monika rescued; police suspect "Barber of Malca" has a pistol
Keep up with the latest news on Telegraf's blog as the search continues for Ninoslav Jovanovic, the kidnapper of 12-year-old Monika Jovanovic, who was rescued yesterday
08:40 am Police Director Vladimir Rebic tells RTS that the arrest of Ninoslav Jovanovic is a matter of time, that he is in the Nis area, and pointed out that, according to what the police have learned, he has a pistol. Rebic urged parents to be alert.
"The police suspect he is in the Nis area and that he is armed. The search is ongoing, the police have surrounded the area where we believe Ninoslav is hiding and we are convinced we will find him quickly. We will not pull the police from the ground until we find him and it is a matter of time. There are between 500 to 600 police officers on the ground. According to the police, Jovanovic has a gun, which is why I urge parents to be cautious."
Speaking about how the girl was found, Rebic said the she was found by the owners of a weekend home where she was staying at that moment. As he said, the police earlier called on the citizens to check on their weekend homes in the area, which was what the owners of the house where the girl was did.
"They came to their house. Ninoslav heard them, thought it was likely the police, he jumped out. The police showed up at the scene in two, three minutes. It took two, three minutes for the homeowner to call the nearest patrol to come, " Rebic said.
As he stated, the homeowner gave the key to police officers, who entered the facility and saw the girl.
The police director said Jovanovic had planned the crime, considering that he went missing in August, adding that he used that time to prepare the premises where he would be staying with his victim.
Rebic said that the kidnapping of little Monika was different than the others, since it was well planned, that the kidnapper knew the terrain and did not want any material gain and therefore did not even contact the police.
"We are grateful to the hunters and scout organizations who searched the terrain with us and pointed out the locations that were hidden from view," said Rebic.
He said the girl was conscious and communicative when she was found.
08:00 am Director of the Clinical Center Nis Dr. Zoran Radovanovic presented the latest information on Monika's health this morning at 8 o'clock. He said that Monika was stable, that her superficial wounds had been treated and that a thermal blanket had been used because she felt very cold.
"The night passed peacefully. For the first time in ten days, Monika slept peacefully, with her mother. Work continues, all necessary tests are being done. Monika is in stable condition without any disturbances. Those superficial injuries were treated, today we continue intensive work at the request of ministers with a psychologist and people from the social service in order to overcome Monika's bad experience," he said, and added:
"As soon as our colleagues from the Children's Surgery Ward carried out all procedures, we applied a thermal blanket because she felt very cold. We were able to stabilize her."
Dragoljub Zivanovic, deputy director of the Children's Clinic who was on duty last night, added that Monika was communicative and had a rest at night after many days.
"She took a little food, she's stable and work with her continues."
07:00 am The mother spends the night in the Clinical Center Nis
06:45 am Jovanovic was not caught tonight. The search for the suspect, who has persistently evaded law enforcement for 11 days, continues.
The girl, who was abducted on Friday, December 20 as she was walking to school in the morning, was found yesterday in the village of Pasjaca near Svrljig. Monika was found alive, exhausted but communicative and she spent the night at the Clinical Center in Nis.
She was found thanks to a local man who saw them in one yard yesterday around 4 pm He immediately called the police, who arrived quickly, however, as the villager approached the gate of the yard, Jovanovic saw him, skipped over the fence and fled.
He left the girl behind because she was supposedly a burden to his escape.
The suspicion was that the Barber of Malca had a knife.