Crime

3-year-old girl whose throat was slit has died; uncle faces murder charge after attack

A 3-year-old Clinton County girl died at University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital Sunday evening following a violent attack, allegedly by her uncle.

The death of Josephine Bulubenchi is being listed as a homicide, according to the Fayette County Coroner. She died at 5:23 p.m. Sunday, more than a day after her uncle allegedly slit her throat, police say.

The sheriff of the small southern Kentucky county called it “the most horrendous crime” he’s worked in his 15 years on the job.

The arrested suspect, Emanuel Fluter, 33, was living with his sister Simona Bulubenchi’s family, according to Clinton County Sheriff Jim Guffey. Simona’s husband, Benjamin Bulubenchi, heard the child’s screams on a baby monitor and rushed into the room to find his daughter’s throat slit. He was also cut by Fluter, Guffey said.

Four other children were also in the room, according to WKYT. Josephine is one of nine children, Guffey said.

Josephine was flown to Lexington for surgery Saturday and died the next day. An autopsy for Josephine is scheduled for Monday.

Guffey is still looking at possibilities as to what provoked the alleged attack but said Fluter was likely not on drugs.

“He was not acting like he was on anything,” Guffey said.

Fluter was initially charged with two counts of first-degree assault and four counts of wanton endangerment. One of the assault charges has been upgraded to murder, Guffey said.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Josephine to be transported to Michigan for funeral services. In the first 12 hours of it being posted, more than $12,000 has been raised.

Flutur was lodged in the Clinton County jail on a $500,000 all-cash bond, Guffey said. He will be arraigned Tuesday.

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