Police find suitcase believed to hold missing girl

September 12, 2008

Police divers have found a red suitcase in the Yarkon River thought to contain the remains of missing four-year-old girl Rose Pizem, believed to have been murdered by her grandfather.

After intensive searches for the child, who has been missing since May, divers located a red case which matched the description of the one that the girl's grandfather, Ronnie Ron, told police he had put her body after killing her.

Rose is the child of Israeli Benjamin Pizem, now 25, who met her mother Marie-Charlotte Renault, now 23, in France. After visiting Israel, Benjamin returned to France with Rose. His wife Marie decided to stay in Israel after falling in love with Ronnie Ron, her husband's father. Rose was later returned to the custody of her mother and paternal grandfather - now stepfather. In the meantime, the couple had two additional children. Shortly after Rose's return to Israel last December, the couple decided to move her into the home of her great-grandmother - Ronnie's mother - after they had difficulty raising her together with their two new children.

According to police, one day in May, Ronnie Ron, 45, appeared at his mother's house and took Rose. When asked later where she was, he said he had placed Rose in boarding school.

Last month, however, the great-grandmother contacted welfare authorities out of concern for Rose. The police were then contacted and last week arrested Marie and Ronnie, who during his interrogation confessed to killing Rose, stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it in the Yarkon River. Police have said that they suspect that the mother, Marie, was an accomplice to the murder.

Ronnie Ron has since recanted his confession.

Last updated: 11:41am, September 11 2008