Tributes paid to woman killed in Stoke house fire as ex-husband is wanted in connection with murder | UK News

Tributes have been paid to a woman killed in a house fire as police hunt her ex-husband in connection with her murder.

Staffordshire Police have appealed directly to Georgian Constantin to give himself up following the death of his former wife Valentina Cozma in a blaze at her home on Campbell Road, Stoke-on-Trent, last Thursday.

Constantin, 42, is thought to have links to the Southampton area and has been spotted in London since the incident.

Georgian Constantin is on the run. Pic: Staffordshire Police
Georgian Constantin is wanted by police. Pic: Staffordshire Police

Police say they are keeping an open mind as to his whereabouts and have not ruled out the prospect of Constantin travelling abroad.

Members of the public who spot Constantin, who has been in the UK since 2017, are being urged to dial 999 rather than approach him.

Chief Superintendent Colin Mattinson, said: “My thoughts are with Valentina’s loved ones, and in particular her young son at this deeply traumatic time.

“I know the local community are in shock that someone within their community has died in such awful circumstances. We know she was a quiet woman who was well-liked among her neighbours, having lived in the area for some years.

“My plea is to anyone who has information, no matter how insignificant it may seem – to get in touch. You could hold information that is key to our investigation.

“I am also appealing to Constantin himself, or anyone who may be harbouring him, to get in touch. Running away is not the answer.

“Anyone found to be assisting an offender will be dealt with robustly as this is a serious crime.

“A teenage boy has lost his mother, we need to secure justice for him, Valentina, and her wider family. Please share our appeal and contact us if you know anything at all.”

Paying tribute to Ms Cozma, her sister said: “Vali was the person I could talk to about anything.

“She offered me support whenever I needed it. She always tried to keep the family together.

“Being an older sister, she made sure we didn’t lack anything, even if she didn’t have a thing. She went through a lot of hard times, yet she never gave up.

“I am appealing for help from anyone who has details that could help in solving this case.”