A family of three was found dead in their home last night in the Druze village of Isfiya, police said. It is unclear whether the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide or an accident, as police investigators found no visible marks on the victims' bodies.
The remains of the family members have been sent to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv for autopsies.
At about 6 P.M. last night, the Carmel District Magen David Adom rescue service received a call that three people were lying unconscious inside a house in Isfiya, located near Haifa. Paramedic Roy Otmazgin told Haaretz that the sight he and his crew found at the house was "horrific," and that they had little to do but pronounce father Naif Kayuf, 43, his wife Reema, 38, and their two-year-old daughter, Karin, dead at the scene.
Haifa police officers, led by commander Ahuva Tomer, were charged with the investigation.
"The Haifa police reached the house as soon as they could, and found an appalling sight," said Tomer. "A father, a mother and a baby, all dead."
Tomer said yesterday that Reema Kayuf had filed a complaint against her husband in August, in which she claimed that he had left her and their baby at the side of the road after the couple had had an argument in the car.
Naif Kayuf was arrested and released with limitations by a judge, following an extended remand. Tomer said the woman could not be reached for further investigation following the husband's release.
One of Naif Kayuf's relatives told Haaretz that no member of the family had been seen in the village or been spoken to in the past 24 hours. Another relative who had gone to check on them found them dead, he said.
The husband "was in debt up to his neck for some years," the relative added, after a business he had set up in the village collapsed. He had spent the past few years working as a cook on occasional jobs in the area.
The deceased man's uncle, Sami Kayuf, told Haaretz that the financial difficulties had caused tension between the spouses, although the extended family supported them financially and tried to help Naif get out of his debts.
Local council head Waja Kayuf, who is also related to the victims, said last night that a disaster had befallen the entire village.
"They were a lovely family, and the guy had good personal relations in the village," he said. "We still don't understand what happened, this goes against our values. We're waiting for the police investigation to reveal the truth."
Waja Kayuf acknowledged that Naif had been in a poor financial state recently, but said he did not think this could have led him to commit murder.
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