Italian prosecutor admits that the stalking threat against the murdered woman may have been underestimated.

MILAN (AP) — An Italian prosecutor on Wednesday acknowledged that a stalking threat to a 26-year-old pregnant woman found stabbed to death in her home may have been underestimated by authorities who failed to take action against a former lover now suspected of killing her.

Prosecutors said that the aggressor used a hammer to break a window to get into Ballan’s home near Treviso, north of Venice in the Veneto region, on Tuesday. Ballan, who was alone at the time, was stabbed at least seven times. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found in the victim’s kitchen, and police recovered from the suspect’s residence a bag with a hammer, at least one more knife and other tools used for break-ins.

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Fandaj, a Kosovo citizen living in Italy, was arrested late Tuesday in his home in a nearby town.

The two had engaged in an affair that started last year, and which she ended over the summer. The threats began soon after, and he frequently showed up at the supermarket where she worked as a cashier, prosecutors said.

Ballan’s murder comes just a month after Italy was shocked by the killing of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, who was found dead, her throat slit, in a ditch in a remote area of the Alpine foothills also in the Veneto region. She had disappeared after meeting her ex-boyfriend for a burger. He was arrested in Germany and is in an Italian jail pending charges.

Cecchettin’s father, Gino, at her funeral implored men to be “agents of change” in a culture that “undervalues the lives of women,’’ urging them “not to turn away in front of signs of violence, even the slightest.”

Cecchettin was among 102 women murdered through mid-November this year in Italy, more than half by current or former intimate partners, according to the Interior Ministry. Updated figures were not immediately available.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MILAN (AP) — An Italian prosecutor on Wednesday acknowledged that a stalking threat to a 26-year-old pregnant woman found stabbed to death in her home may have been underestimated by authorities who failed to take action against a former lover now suspected of killing her.

Prosecutors said that the aggressor used a hammer to break a window to get into Ballan’s home near Treviso, north of Venice in the Veneto region, on Tuesday. Ballan, who was alone at the time, was stabbed at least seven times. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found in the victim’s kitchen, and police recovered from the suspect’s residence a bag with a hammer, at least one more knife and other tools used for break-ins.

Political Cartoons

Fandaj, a Kosovo citizen living in Italy, was arrested late Tuesday in his home in a nearby town.

The two had engaged in an affair that started last year, and which she ended over the summer. The threats began soon after, and he frequently showed up at the supermarket where she worked as a cashier, prosecutors said.

Ballan’s murder comes just a month after Italy was shocked by the killing of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, who was found dead, her throat slit, in a ditch in a remote area of the Alpine foothills also in the Veneto region. She had disappeared after meeting her ex-boyfriend for a burger. He was arrested in Germany and is in an Italian jail pending charges.

Cecchettin’s father, Gino, at her funeral implored men to be “agents of change” in a culture that “undervalues the lives of women,’’ urging them “not to turn away in front of signs of violence, even the slightest.”

Cecchettin was among 102 women murdered through mid-November this year in Italy, more than half by current or former intimate partners, according to the Interior Ministry. Updated figures were not immediately available.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

An Italian prosecutor has admitted that authorities may have underestimated the stalking threat against a 26-year-old pregnant woman who was found stabbed to death in her home. The victim, identified as Ballan, was attacked by her former lover, Fandaj, who used a hammer to break into her home and stabbed her multiple times. The murder weapon was found in the victim’s kitchen, and police also discovered a bag with a hammer, knives, and other tools at the suspect’s residence. Fandaj, a Kosovo citizen living in Italy, was arrested in a nearby town.

The victim and the suspect had been engaged in an affair that ended earlier this year, after which she started receiving threats and he frequently appeared at her workplace. This case comes just a month after the shocking killing of another woman, Giulia Cecchettin, whose throat was slit after meeting her ex-boyfriend. Her killer was arrested in Germany and is awaiting charges in Italy.

The murder of Ballan highlights the issue of violence against women in Italy, where 102 women were murdered by their current or former partners in 2023. The father of Giulia Cecchettin called for men to be “agents of change” in a society that undervalues women’s lives.

The Italian prosecutor’s acknowledgment of underestimating the stalking threat adds to the ongoing discourse about the need for better protection and support for victims of domestic violence.

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