'I killed Roxana,' man charged in hatchet murder told his dad, authorities say
Cristian Loga-Negru stood in the doorway of his motel room Wednesday night in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, covered in blood.
His father, Marius, had just flown in from Romania to deal with his troubled son. He asked Cristian what had happened.
"I killed Roxana," Cristian said of his wife of only four months, according to authorities in a bond hearing Friday in Racine County court. Cristian said her barely breathing body was still downstairs in a rented SUV.
The exchange was among the gruesome details of the violent end of Roxana Abrudan's life revealed in the bond hearing for Loga-Negru, 38.
Abrudan and Loga-Negru, both of Arlington Heights, had married in July, but the relationship turned violent soon after, according to an order of protection Abrudan, 36, had recently gotten against her husband.
The two were due to appear in court Monday to make the order permanent.
But instead, Loga-Negru is accused of tracking his wife to Mount Pleasant where she was hiding, brutally attacking her with a hatchet, dragging her body into a car and driving back to his motel, where police apprehended him. Abrudan died later that night at a Milwaukee hospital.
"This is as brutal a case as I think we will ever see," Racine County District Attorney W. Richard Chiapete said in court on Friday.
Loga-Negru was denied bail on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, mayhem and kidnapping. He faces life plus 85 years in prison if convicted.
"The sad thing is, she did all the things we in the system ask people to do," Chiapete said of Abrudan, who a former employer described as a hard worker who loved pets. "She took steps to try to protect herself."
Since late October, Abrudan had been staying with her current employer and his wife in Mount Pleasant, according to the criminal complaint presented in court Friday.
Chiapete said Loga-Negru was waiting for her there on Wednesday night in a rented SUV with black gloves, a stocking gap, binoculars and a hatchet.
"The defendant hunted the victim down," Chiapete said while Loga-Negru appeared in court via video, wearing a black cutoff T-shirt and accompanied by a public defender. Loga-Negru did not speak during the hearing and often looked down or away from the camera, but he did not seem distraught at the gory details being discussed.
According to the complaint, Loga-Negru attacked Abrudan with a hatchet, causing what the Milwaukee County medical examiner described as "multiple chop wounds and blunt force injuries." He then dragged her through the snow and into a car, leaving the hatchet behind.
When police tracked Loga-Negru to a nearby Super 8 Motel, he did not fight back but asked that officers shoot him, according to the complaint.
"Loga-Negru asked officers if they could give him the death penalty right now. (Officers) stated that Wisconsin hadn't had the death penalty for 160 years and (Loga-Negru) seemed disappointed," the complaint reads.
He also told police, "I can stand a lot of smells, but not her blood on me," the complaint says.
After searching Loga-Negru's room at the motel, police found multiple passports, including a Romanian one, and ID cards, paperwork regarding the Cook County restraining order, and a box for the hatchet used in the attack.
Chiapete said investigators believe Loga-Negru intended to kill Abrudan and flee to Romania, where he emigrated from years earlier.
Police also found Loga-Negru's wallet with a credit card and a receipt from earlier Wednesday night that showed he had attempted to purchase a .40-caliber pistol from a local sporting goods store but was not able to, the complaint said.
"This was clearly a premeditated act; this wasn't a split-second decision," Chiapete said. "The weapon was used to inflict the maximum amount of pain, terror and mutilation in the victim."
Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch was clearly shaken by the details of the case, which she said were "beyond pale" and ordered Loga-Negru held without bail.
Arlington Heights police said they had visited Loga-Negru's residence several times in the past several months for domestic calls and had helped Abrudan obtain a temporary restraining order earlier this month.
According to the order of protection filing of Nov. 3, Abrudan told authorities that Loga-Negru beat her two times since they got married in July.
On July 16, she said, he head-butted her several times, causing a nosebleed, and dragged her into their bedroom where he kicked her, leaving bruises and scratches on her hands, face and legs, it said.
On Oct. 2, she said, Loga-Negru punched her in the arm while they were driving. A co-worker later noticed bruises, according to court documents.
Loga-Negru told his wife numerous times that he would kill her, threatening to "put a bullet in her head" or "hire a guy to kill her," according to the documents. He also said he had a gun under the bed.
On Oct. 29, Abrudan wrote that Loga-Negru followed her to work and demanded they talk. She said she was too busy.
"You want me to come over there and make you available?" he responded, according to the documents.
Fearing for her safety, she didn't return home.
Memories of Abrudan were being shared Friday at C & R Mortgage Corp. in Niles, where she previously worked for five years as a loan processor.
Company President Larry Callero said he was shocked by the news of her death. He described Abrudan as a "great girl" and "hard worker" who never missed a day, even coming in when she had a 103-degree fever. She was hired about seven years ago but left five years later to pursue a degree at the Harrington College of Design.
Her LinkedIn profile says she was a freelance interior designer.
"She just was getting into that -- that was her passion in life," Callero said. "She was a great (mortgage) processor, too, but whatever she did she was excellent at."
Callero said Abrudan was a lover of animals, having volunteered at an animal shelter, and that she regularly watched his dog when he went on trips. She took the dog to pet parades and even spent $50 on a Halloween costume for the dog.
Loga-Negru had been married at least two times before he and Abrudan tied the knot in July. Cook County court records show he had just finalized a divorce in April to a woman he married in 2010. That's the same year, records show, he got divorced from another woman.
He will next appear in court for a competency hearing on Dec. 11 in Racine.
• Daily Herald staff writers Christopher Placek and Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.