06/13/2016 06:39 EDT | Updated 06/13/2016 06:59 EDT

Alex Radita's Father Allegedly Threatened Social Worker To Keep Sniper-Range Distance From Home

The social worker testified on Monday.


The father of a Calgary teen who died of starvation and untreated diabetes warned a social worker to not come within sniper range of his home, a welfare official testified Monday.

"He said he'd been a former member of the Romanian special forces and I was waging psychological warfare," B.C. social worker Richard Gage testified at the Court of Queen's Bench, the Calgary Sun reported.

Emil Radita, 59, and his wife Rodica, 53, are on trial for first-degree murder in the death of their 15-year-old son Alexandru.

"He said he'd been a former member of the Romanian special forces and I was waging psychological warfare."

When Alexandru was in kindergarten, he was briefly placed in B.C. foster care after he was hospitalized for starvation and being denied diabetic care at home, the court heard last week.

After Alexandru was returned to his parents, he was monitored by social workers for a few years before his family fled to Alberta in 2009.

For the next four years, he would not see a social worker or a doctor until he died in 2013. At the time of his death, a few months after his 15th birthday, he was found covered in ulcers and weighed 37 pounds.

On the day of Alexandru's death, his parents told members of their church their son had died and been resurrected by God, according to CBC News.

Churchgoers came to the Radita home to pray, where, after seeing the boy's emaciated and body, told his parents to call 911.

“When I saw him I know it’s a big problem… I knew he was not alive anymore,” pastor Nicolai Brancu told Global News. “I told Emil you have to call the ambulance.”

Alexandru Radita, pictured at his 15th birthday party just months before his death. (Photo: CP/HO-Government of Alberta)

B.C.'s child advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says it's not uncommon for parents like the Raditas to evade child welfare by switching provinces.

"We have people who are just on the lam," she told The Canadian Press. "They flee child welfare in one province and then go to another province to make a fresh start. Frequently the child-welfare system in the province that loses them just closes the file, which is what happened with the young boy here."

With files from The Canadian Press

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