Death of tape-tied woman a mystery

January 8, 2009

A post-mortem examination has failed to determine the cause of death of a Jewish pensioner found dead in Stamford Hill, north London, on New Year’s Day.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, known to family as Lina, Linda or Chava, was found by police with her legs bound by duct tape in the bedroom of her house on Leweston Place on January 1, after her niece had raised the alarm.

Her neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said this week that Ms Kelmenson had never married and had lived at the house with her brothers and sisters for more than 30 years. She had lived alone since 2007, when her last remaining sister died.

The neighbour said that the dead woman had been an active and healthy person who “did not look her age”, but who liked to be on her own.

However, Ms Kelmenson had recently told neighbours that she was being pursued for money. Last year she was targeted by conmen posing as gardeners, who had charged her more than £1,000 and then failed to do any work.

Rabbi Abraham Pinter, principal of the Yesoday Hatorah School in Stamford Hill, said he had spoken to police who made it clear that antisemitism was not a motive for the crime.

He said that Ms Kelmenson had been “very much a traditional Jewish woman who kept kosher. It is very sad for the Jewish community in Hackney when someone lives to that age and is cut down in such a tragic way,” he said.

The Homicide and Serious Crime Command is leading the investigation. Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode said: “We need to establish Lina’s last movements. I am appealing for anyone who saw Lina after November 24 2008 to come forward.”

The Federation of Synagogues Burial Society was responsible for Ms Kelmenson’s funeral. Anyone who can assist should call the incident room on 020 8345 3715 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 14 2009