Italian media reported the strange case of two inmates who managed to escape from Rebibbia prison and left behind a letter explaining their reason for escaping and promising to be back soon.
On the night of June 2nd, Davad Zukanovic, 40 and Lil Ahmetovic, 46, two cousins serving time at Rome’s Rebibbia prison, managed to escape by cutting through the bars on their prison cell window, rappelling down into the courtyard on a fire hydrant water hose and climbing over the outer walls by climbing the barbed wire with a wire cutter. This alone was a feat worthy of a Hollywood movie, but what really made their escape stand out was the note they left in their prison cell, explaining that they had an urgent family problem to take care of and promising to be back in 15 days.
In their letter to the prison staff, Zukanovic and Ahmetovic claim that they had to escape in order to “protect their children from a nasty business they had got themselves into,” adding that they were the only ones able to do this, since both their wives are also behind bars. At the end, a couple of lines read that the two plan to return and stand before the judicial authority as soon as their personal matter was resolved.
Italian police have no doubts about the authenticity of the letter, since it was found in the cell they had escaped from and had their fingerprints on it, but they are having trouble believing the promise of the two fugitives, which is why they’ve been trying to track them down and cut their little adventure short.
Zukanovic and Ahmetovic were serving sentences due to end in 2029 for non-violent crimes, including fraud and receiving stolen goods. Even if they respect the promise made in their letter, they are still facing a 5-year sentence extension for escaping the prison. That only makes their voluntary return even more unlikely.
According to surveillance videos from the prison, suspicious movement was detected at around 3 am, and considering that staff only noticed the two cousins’ absence at morning call, it is believed that they had at least a good 3-hour head-start on their pursuers. Their mug shots were immediately shared with the police and the media, but the two have yet to be caught. Maybe Italian authorities will get lucky and Zukanovic and Ahmetovic will finish up their personal business sooner and stay true to their promise.