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Updated | Family says teacher drove girl to Dingli
Zahra family suggests Erin Tanti, a teacher, neglected responsibility towards vulnerable teenager that died in tragic fall
20 March 2014, 10:41am
Last updated on 20 March 2014, 8:12pm
The Zahra family are refuting the suggestion that Tanti, a drama teacher at a private school in San Gwann where Zahra was a student, was assisting the girl throughout a difficult period in her life.
Tanti was said to be in a critical condition after he was retrieved from a ledge beneath Dingli cliffs, but Zahra - the 15-year-old now identified as the daughter of businessman Anthony Zahra - died in the fall. Police have ruled out foul play but are exploring all avenues as to how the tragic incident took place.
"The cruel reality is that Lisa Maria Zahra was a vulnerable minor at the age of 15, and Erin Tanti is a 23-year-old teacher with the relevant responsibilities that come with this role," the family said.
"The tragic situation that developed after Tanti drove Lisa Maria to Dingli is one which is still subject to ongoing police investigations and prudence in any commentary, as well as the family's privacy in these difficult moments, should be respected at this time," the family said.
Tanti was at the time performing in a play entitled ‘Festen’. A friend of Tanti alleged that the man could have been assisting the young girl through a difficult period in her life.
Both Zahra and Tanti were reported missing by the police earlier on Tuesday morning.
The two were found injured at the foot of Dingli Cliffs on Tuesday afternoon.
Friends on Facebook have flooded Tanti’s wall with messages of encouragement.
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Graduated in anthropology, Matthew Vella joined MaltaToday in 2002. He has been ed...