Mother probed for son’s murder in Sicily

A woman in Sicily is being investigated over the murder of her eight-year-old son, whose body was found in a canal last month.

Mother probed for son's murder in Sicily
Police have 48 hours to question the boy's mother, before they must appeal to a judge for more time. Police photo: Shutterstock

Veronica Panarello, 25, was questioned for six hours overnight by police in Santa Croce Camerina, south-east Sicily.

She is accused of murdering her son, Andrea Loris Stival, on November 29th and dumping his body in a canal, Ansa said.

His body was found later that day and a murder investigation launched. Early reports said that the boy suffered a head wound and may have been sexually abused, although coroners have since revealed he was strangled with a cable tie.

READ MORE: Eight-year-old boy 'raped and killed' in Sicily

When two teachers visited the family home on Monday, Panarello allegedly tried to give them a pack of cable ties and told them her son had said they were needed at school. The teachers deny making such a request, Ansa reported.

Panarello denies murder and will face further questioning onTuesday.

She maintains that she drove her son to school the morning he went missing. CCTV footage, however, appears to show the boy returning home and his mother later driving towards the Mulino Vecchio area where his body was found, Ansa said.

“She is being investigated but is not guilty,” said her lawyer, Francesco Villardita.

Investigators have 48 hours to question Panarello and bring charges against her, before they must appeal to a judge for more time. 

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New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”


Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”