An Italian woman burned alive by a jealous ex-lover could have been saved if passing motorists had heeded her desperate screams for help, police said.
Sara Di Pierantonio, 22, was doused in alcohol and set alight on the side of a road outside Rome by former boyfriend Vincenzo Paduano, 27, according to authorities.
Paduano had followed the college student as she left her current boyfriend's house, police said. He allegedly rammed her car, forcing it to the side of a street, and got in. The two argued and Paduano poured alcohol on the car and set it ablaze, according to prosecutor Maria Monteleone.
The former boyfriend then chased the woman more than 300 feet as she ran from him, ultimately catching up with her and covering her in alcohol, the prosecutor said. He then held a cigarette lighter to her face, she said.
Paduano did not accept "being abandoned" by Di Pietrantonio, Monteleone said. He "organized (and) planned the aggression," she said.
Policed called the incident "atrocious."
Surveillance footage showed at least two cars driving by as the woman screamed for help, said Monteleone, who urged witnesses "not to look the other way" when women are being threatened.
She said the victim could have been saved if someone had stopped to help. She also told women "not [to] keep hidden any threatening behavior by those who insist they love you."