A campaign to raise money to help a Romanian family fly the body of their daughter home has started following an appeal from a Falkirk mum.
Shiona MacArthur from Camelon got more than 600 signatures within a few days on an online petition calling on people to help the family of 23-year-old Romanian Luciana Maurer who was found dead by police in a house in Falkirk’s Springfield Drive on December 5.
The petition appeared on the website of popular campaign group 38 Degrees, which allows people to raise awareness of issues using social media.
Shiona (39), whose son Paul Young (16) also campaigns on 38 Degrees said: “Luciana died here in Falkirk but her family cannot afford the 10,000 euros it will take to get her body home so they can give her a proper funeral.
“She was someone’s mother, sister and daughter who left her home to work to raise money to send home. Being a mother myself, it must be a horrific situation for them and I just wanted to help them.”
Volunteers in Medias in the Romanian region of Sibiu, which Luciana came from, are also raising money for her family with a Christmas carols concert on December 22.
Campaign group 38 Degrees is backing Shiona’s petition and is considering setting up a fundraising page.
The group’s Jen Stout said signing the petition would increase awareness of the family’s desperate plight. She said: “Luciana’s story is incredibly sad, and has clearly deeply touched the community. When Shiona, a 38 Degrees member, started a petition asking the Scottish Government to help pay the costs for Luciana’s body to be returned to her family in Romania, hundreds of people signed in just a few days.”
The Crown Office confirmed yesterday it was still in possession of Luciana’s body and will be liaising with Romanian authorities and her family in a bid to release it.
The family has also asked the Romanian Embassy for help. The embassy did not respond for comment when contacted by The Falkirk Herald.
To sign the online petition visit https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/luciana.
The man accused of killing Luciana Maurer at his Falkirk home in Springfield Drive on the Rosebank housing estate has been remanded in custody following a court appearance on Tuesday.
Steven Raymond Mathieson appeared at Falkrik Sheriff Court for the second time charged with murder, two counts of abduction and two charges of rape.
He made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.
The 38-year-old was arrested on December 5 shortly after police found the woman’s body in a bedroom of the house
Luciana’s younger sister Luciana’s younger sister, Denisa Zoltan wrote on Facebook: “Pain is great in Medias. We will not forget. Rest in peace ... you are among the angels, never leave me. There you rest but what do I do without you? I love you with all my heart.” She added: “We hope that the Romanian authorities and embassy will help us.”