They tried to rape the 12-year-old and when she came out of her house to be saved, they covered her with turpentine, threw the lit lighter at her and burned her alive.
About nine years later, the horror is revealed through the photo of a man who went public for another crime he committed against a minor.
The Piraeus Prosecutor’s Office ordered the case to be withdrawn from the file of unknown perpetrators and to be investigated in depth.
The heartbreaking appeal of the relatives for justification through the “Tunnel” is moving.
It was the morning of Friday, September 23, 2011, when the parents of Zeneida Selimaj from Albania left their house on Kallikratida Street to go to work. The grandfather accompanied the youngest boy of the family to the school and the 12-year-old was left alone at home.
It seems that the perpetrator broke into the apartment and tried to rape the unfortunate little girl. She managed to escape from him and naked from the waist up, she started going down the stairs to go out on the street and ask for help. The perpetrator set her on fire and the child was burned alive. A few days later she succumbed to her burns.
In the first days of the incident, the authorities spoke of suicide. Then they “saw” the murder of the child and blamed her grandfather for it. In the process, he was acquitted.
A neighbor and witness of the incident was the man whose photo was recently published by the authorities, accusing him of raping a little girl.
The family’s lawyer, Ms. Gianna Panagopoulou, is waging a major legal battle to uncover the truth. The case was withdrawn from the archive following a relevant request to the Piraeus Prosecutor’s Office.
Medical examiner Socratis Tsantiris was appointed technical advisor. In a live connection with the show, he stated that the fire was caused by the perpetrator to “hide” evidence that would betray the sex crime. However, some traces were found in the child’s genitals.
The medical examiner highlighted the important findings. The burns were largely on the front of the child’s body and not so much on the back.
“We saw the child burned…”
Relatives, neighbors and friends of the unfortunate girl, who was brutally murdered, spoke to the “Tunnel” camera.
“When I saw the photo of our neighbor on TV, all the pictures appeared in front of me about what had happened to my niece. The child from the waist up was found without clothes. Her parents recognized her from her nails and earrings. We never thought she would set herself on fire. It is murder, I was claiming that it from the beginning and I say it now as well. I have taken an oath to find the killer,” says the 12-year-old girl’s uncle excitedly.
“Suddenly we saw the little girl burned on the stairs. She was taken alive to the hospital, but after a few days she died.… A child who was burned… She was a sweet creature”, the neighbor of the family stressed.
“I had the little girl as my child. She was a happy creature. From the incident onwards, we just want to know what has happened,” said the landlord of the victim’s parents.
“I can no longer even bear to go out of the house because I remember what happened and what our daughter went through. We have so many years and we are waiting to find the truth. We just want to find out who did this to our child,” said the tragic parents.
“They did not let me listen to her last words…”
The father of the unfortunate little girl described in the “Tunnel” the tragic moment when he found her burned on the stairs of their house.
“The door of the apartment was open, but there were no signs of fire in the house. They set fire to my child and accelerated the flame with the turpentine. She was trying to escape from the stairs and she did not make it. It was a targeted action. I saw next to her the man who is now in prison for another crime and he told me that she did it herself. They were talking with the other neighbor and they did not let me listen to her last words,” he said at an emotional state.
“We did not have a bottle of turpentine at home. Our neighbor definitely had one in his apartment because he was a painter and a contractor. I saw his hands that were burned. Then the ambulance came and took our daughter. I was in a state of shock,” added the tragic father.
“He had his hands burned…”
Residents on Kallikratida Street in Piraeus are upset. With the publication of the photo of their pedophile neighbor, the memories of that savage murder with the twelve-year-old victim awaken.
The victim’s uncle describes what the family neighbor and Andreas, the man in prison for abusing a minor, who was present at the time of the tragic event, told him.
“The neighbor at first told me that he thought a sack was burning and took the hose to put out the fire. When the fire was put out, he thought it was an old man and not my niece. The other spoke immediately about the child. His hands were burnt and no one asked why. He was interested in learning about the course and development of the searches. We lost a lot of time in the case, unjustly accusing the little girl’s grandfather”, he stated characteristically.
“This man, who is now accused of raping another child, lived next door, with only a wall in between and communicates with the apartment where the little girl lived with her family,” said the landlord of the victim’s family.
What the mother of the unfortunate twelve-year-old says on the show’s camera is shocking.
“A month earlier, my daughter told me that this neighbor was looking at her strangely. He was watching her and she did not like him because he was scaring her.”
Authorities are looking for more victims…
At the end of December 2020, the Hellenic Police published, following a relevant order of the Piraeus Prosecutor’s Office, the identity data and the photo of the man.
He is Adrian Zeko, 59, from Albania, who is accused of continuous rape without the victim’s consent and of having sex with a minor under the age of twelve.
According to the relevant prosecutor’s order, the disclosure is aimed at the immediate need to protect society as a whole from the criminal activity of the accused, to the fuller investigation of other similar criminal offenses against an indefinite number of underage victims.
Citizens are kindly requested to contact 210 – 6476370 of the Juvenile Protection Sub-Directorate and 210 – 6411111 of the Attica Security Directorate to provide any relevant information. It is noted that the anonymity and confidentiality of communication is ensured.
The specific disclosure is valid until 28-06-2021, according to the prosecutor’s order.