Gica’s cap lay next to the body when he was found dead in Smedbyparken on August 8, 2018. Foto: Swedish police/MiK

The murder investigation about Gheorghe Hortolomei-Lupu: Confrontation was unknown to police


In the hours before Gheorghe Hortolomei-Lupu was assaulted in Smedbyparken in Huskvarna, a man called the police to report that his 12-year-old son and a friend had been dragged off by a man. He described a beggar with a beard and a New York baseball cap. Mission Investigate reveals that these events were completely unknown to the police homicide investigators.

Mission Investigate has reviewed all police reports filed around the shopping centre in Huskvarna during the four years that Gheorghe Hortolomei Lupu – or Gica, as he was called locally – spent in the area. The material includes a report of an event on August 7, 2018 – the same day that Gica was assaulted.

The documents show that a father called the police and reported that his 12-year-old son and the boy’s friend had been dragged away by a man. The 12-year-old and his friend had been on their own in Huskvarna.

The father told the police that the man who walked away with the boys had been sitting outside the shopping centre at 3 p.m. that same day begging for money. The description was: “The man had a beard and a New York baseball cap.”

“He’s the one”

The report was registered by the police at 8 p.m. on the evening of August 7, and classified under the heading “assault”. At that hour, Gica was still alive.

But just 40 minutes later, an inspector decided not to initiate a preliminary investigation. The police never investigated what actually happened, according to Mission Investigate’s review.

The extensive homicide investigation shows no trace of this confrontation. None of the people involved – the father, the 12-year-old son or the son’s friend – was questioned.

The father tells Mission Investigate that he’s sure the beggar was Gica. 

– He’s the one, he says.

“A lot to suggest it was him”

Lennart Leijon is the district police chief of the Södra Vätterbygden district, which includes Huskvarna. He confirms that the homicide investigators were not made aware of the incident with Gica.

– I agree that there is a lot to suggest that it was him, with the brief description it has,  Leijon says.

Isn’t that of interest to a homicide investigation?

– It should be.

So why didn’t you investigate it?

– They didn’t connect it to the assault. I can’t say why they didn’t investigate the call, or why they didn’t look up those reports.

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