After fleeing to Israel, New York man suspected of stabbing parents to death to be extradited to U.S.
30-year-old Eric Bellucci will be accompanied by Israeli immigration officers on Sunday.
A man suspected of stabbing both of his parents to death is expected to be extradited to the United States after being arrested on Friday at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
According to the Interior Ministry, 30-year-old Eric Bellucci of New York will be accompanied to the United States by Israeli immigration officers, on a flight scheduled to take off early today.
Bellucci's parents, Arthur, 61, and Marian, 56, were found dead Wednesday night in their Staten Island home.
The suspect was arrested after a sales representative recognized him from media shots as he tried to purchase a ticket from Tel Aviv to Beijing. Airport security then placed Bellucci in a holding cell at the airport, usually reserved for illegal aliens being deported.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai decided on Friday that the suspect would be deported.
When news that Bellucci had escaped to Israel were reported on Thursday, Israeli authorities began searching for him, and coordinated their search with the New York Police Department. It is still unclear why Bellucci chose to travel to Israel.
According to the New York Post, Bellucci took his parents car and drove to Kennedy International Airport, where he caught a flight that landed in Israel on Thursday morning. The New York Post also reported that Bellucci is neither an Israeli citizen or Jewish, but that he had a friend in Israel.
Bellucci was not arrested on arrival due to a delay in information reaching the Israeli authorities from New York. Police investigators say that after arriving here, the suspect hired a car and spent the night in a Tel Aviv hotel. The car was later located with Bellucci's luggage and a box of medication inside.
On Friday he returned to the airport where he reportedly tried to purchase a ticket to Beijing. His credit card was not accepted and he apparently stayed at the airport trying to raise cash for the flight that was supposed to take off that afternoon.
A sales representative who heard reports about the suspect after finishing her shift understood that the person who had tried to buy a ticket earlier was the suspect. She informed her supervisor and airport security, who then contacted the police.
Bellucci was arrested in the departures hall of the airport.
'He realized something was wrong'
"He was behaving quite strangely," says Yoav Zandani, the officer on duty who arrested Bellucci. "As soon as I moved closer to him he realized something was wrong. He was in shock and did not offer any resistance."
Zandani brought Bellucci to the police station, where his passport was checked and it was confirmed that he was indeed the fugitive.
According to police sources, as soon as he was brought to the station Bellucci suffered an anxiety attack and was treated by medics.
They added that the minute Bellucci would have tried to pass through passport control he would have been arrested, as the report that he was wanted in the United States was already in the immigration police computer.
Friday, Interior Ministry officials said that Yishai had decided to revoke Bellucci's tourist entry visa and expel him to the United States as soon as possible.
A hearing for Bellucci was held in Israel in the presence of U.S. consular officials, and he signed an affidavit agreeing to stay in Israel for 72 hours, during which time he could have challenged the decision to extradite him.