Sabtu, 13 September 2008

Israel river body is missing Rose

A body found in a Tel Aviv river is that of missing four-year-old Rose Pizem, Israeli police have confirmed.

Flowers, candles and messages have already been placed on the site near where the tiny body was discovered in a suitcase by police on Thursday.

Missing girl Rose Pizem (undated picture)
Rose Pizem, aged four, had been missing since May

The hunt for Rose has been widely publicised across Israel.

Her grandfather, Ronny Ron, initially confessed that he had killed her, but later withdrew the statement, saying he had been coerced into making it.

Two divers retrieved a red suitcase that fitted the description given by the French-born girl's Israeli grandfather from the Yarkon river on Thursday.

Inside, police found human remains.

The remains were sent for identification, and on Friday police confirmed that they were those of the missing girl.

"Final confirmation of the DNA tests show that the body is that of Rose," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

"Samples were taken from both the mother and the father," he said.

Touching tributes

Near the scene of the discovery on Friday, touching tributes were being left to Rose.

Rose's mother wrote her daughter a letter to be placed on her grave

One message, in what appeared to be a child's handwriting, said in French: "Rose, I love you, I miss you. God Bless you".

Nearby, flowers, chocolates and small dolls were laid out in memory of the girl.

Rose had been missing since May.

Ronny Ron, a 45-year-old taxi driver, lived near Tel Aviv with Rose's French-born mother Marie-Charlotte Renaud, 23.

Ms Renaud had previously been married to Mr Ron's son Benjamin Pizem, who is Rose's father.

Ms Renaud and her husband had travelled to Israel when Rose was very young in search of the father Mr Pizem had never met.

However, Ms Renaud and Mr Ron became lovers and she decided to stay in Israel with Mr Ron. Mr Pizem took Rose back to France.

A long custody battle ended with Rose moving to live with her mother and grandfather in Israel in 2007.

On Tuesday, a Tel Aviv court remanded Mr Ron and Ms Renaud in custody for 10 days.

Israeli media has published an emotional message, written by Ms Renaud and delivered by her lawyer, to be placed on her daughter's grave.

"I'm sorry, so sorry I couldn't understand you, understand your suffering. Sorry I couldn't hug you and tell you how much I love you," the message said.

"I'm sorry I couldn't show you the past few months how much I love you. You went away from me, you're my daughter, my child. You must know now how sorry I am and how much I love you."

Rose's maternal grandmother, Betty Sghaier, says she wants the little girl's remains to be flown to France.

"I want her body to be repatriated - she has no reason to be out there," she told AFP news agency.

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