Residents in the Sarajevo suburb of Tarcin are locking their doors, guarding their homes and not sending their children to school, fearing a suspected serial killer whom police are not able to find for days.
Edin Gacic is at large since February 4, the day when the body of Sead Sultanic was found in Podorasac, near the central town of Konjic.
Suspect Gacic went into hiding and evaded the police hunt. He then allegedly murdered a policeman who was guarding a police facility near Tarcin.
Since then, authorities have deployed helicopters, drones and thermal cameras to help the manhunt.
Gacic was convicted of murder in 1999 and was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.
But in 2002, during a leave from prison, he killed his own mother.
He was subsequently convicted to a 20-year sentence.
Prior to the expiration of his sentence, Gacic was transferred to a Bihac prison, in northern Bosnia.
The prison administration then wrote to several competent institutions, saying that Gacic was a high-risk convict likely to commit the same crime after he is released.
Experts recommended Gacic to be put into a mental facility but authorities failed to follow the recommendation.
Gacic was armed with an automatic rifle at the time of Sultanic’s death, and currently, all the state police agencies are looking for him.
The Hilmo Saric elementary school in Tarcin was half empty Monday morning and the principal, Zineta Bajric, told N1 that the reason for it is Gacic.
“A lot of children did not turn up, but that is a decision their parents made and they have the right to do so,” she said.
“I spoke to a neighbour who told me she did not sleep all night. I lock the doors now, and I didn’t do so before,” a local said.
“I am afraid and I hope police will end this,” another one said.
The Interior Minister of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, Aljosa Campara, told N1 on Monday that Gacic is a schizophrenic, an asocial person and possibly suffers from a dissociative identity disorder.
“He does not really have any friends he would keep in contact with, but we are trying to find out if he has anyone helping him, as he is hiding well. For eight days there is no trace of him,” he said.