Tuesday 12 December 2017

There's pain deep down in our souls

Rostas family
Rostas family
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

The image of his 18-year-old daughter's frail remains, bound and heartbreakingly mummified, haunts Dumitri Rostas to this day.

"Only bones, only bones. Disastrous," Dumitri says.

He recalled being escorted by gardai up to the Dublin Mountains where his daughter Marioara's remains had been found in a shallow grave, encased in plastic and duct tape, having been brutally executed - shot four times in the head.

He cannot escape it or ever hope to put it behind him. "That picture will be with me always until the day I die," he adds.

Nor can he hope to forget the heartbroken telephone call he was forced to make to his youngest children, to tell them that "their sister had been found in the mountains".

"The children at home asked if I found her and I told them she was dead. I told them the police had found her in the mountains. They all cried. It was sad news. It was terrible," says Dumitri, whose youngest child is now aged 12. "There is a sadness, a pain deep down in our souls that we cannot get rid of. We will never forget," he says as he sits in a spartan hotel room with his wife, Marioara senior and their son, Dumitri jnr

There were 15 children in the Rostas family and Marioara was the fifth eldest.

She never went to school. Instead, she was a willing helper with the younger children at home, cooking and cleaning as is traditional for young unmarried Roma girls, explains Dumitri.

She was a beautiful girl, both parents say, and their hopes for her were simple ones - that she would find a husband and be happily married with children of her own.

"She was a beautiful girl, an obedient girl," he says. In Roma terms, this is the highest compliment a father could pay his daughter.

Now all they have are memories and just one photo taken of their daughter when she was alive.

Sunday Independent

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