Missing girl's mother allegedly told husband to 'get rid of her'
4-year-old's grandfather, who is also her stepfather, suspected of killing her, putting body in suitcase.
The mother of 4-year-old Rose Ron, who has been missing for three months, is suspected of having told her husband, the girl's grandfather, to "get rid of her" before he allegedly murdered her.
"I don't want to see the girl any more - get rid of her," Marie-Charlotte Renault allegedly said, according to a police investigation into the affair.
Marie-Charlotte Renault left Rose's father Benjamin Pizem when the child was still an infant, later marrying her father-in-law, Rose's grandfather, Ronny Ron.
It emerged Tuesday that Ronny Ron, a 45-year-old Netanya resident, is suspected of having murdered Rose, stuffing her body into a suitcase which he allegedly dumped in the Yarkon River.
While police believe that Ronny Ron killed the girl alone, they also now suspect that her mother is more involved in the incident than they had initially thought.
On Tuesday morning, following more than two weeks of intensive police searches that did not turn up the suitcase, it was decided to lift a comprehensive gag order that was initially placed on all details of the case. "We couldn't stop the rumor mill surrounding the case anymore," a senior police source said.
Police said that the suspect had confessed to the murder and described it in detail, leading police to where he claimed he had dumped the body. The body has not been found.
Investigators suspect that the couple planned the murder in advance, contradicting the mother's assertion that she did not know anything about her daughter's alleged murder. Police hold evidence that shows Renault tried to cover up Ronny Ron's act.
One example of this is when she learned that Netanya welfare services and police were seeking to find out where her daughter was, she quickly contacted a friend and told him: "Get me a 5-year-old girl."
She did not explain exactly why she needed a child, but said that if she did not get hold of a girl, her husband Ronny was likely "to go to jail." In her testimony, the mother repeatedly said that when her husband said he had sent the girl to a French boarding school, she accepted this and did not ask him questions about it since she did not wish to see her daughter again.
The intricate case has been the Central Police district's top priority over the last two weeks. The investigators have dropped all other cases in favor of the search for Rose. "I have handled many investigations," said the Central District commander, "but I can't recall a single other investigation that turned all of our stomachs, that investigators came out of briefings with tears in their eyes."
Police suspect that the murder occurred last May, but the girl's disappearance was only brought to the police's attention some two weeks ago.
Rose Ron's father: Whoever did this needs to pay
Benjamin Pizem, the girl's father, on Tuesday told various Israeli TV channels that he believes his daughter was murdered.
"I look forward to knowing why all this happened, even if they find Rose in the worst circumstances. Whoever did this needs to pay," he said.
The 25-year-old said since he read about the affair in the French newspaper Le Parisien, he has tried to discover details about what transpired.
Pizem continued: "The last time I saw Rose was a year ago, in November, when our divorce [proceedings] were over and we decided that Rose would travel to Israel to Marie."
Two days ago, the police decided to appeal to the public to help in the search, even though the assumption was that she had been murdered. The reason for the decision was the fact that the suspect had given seven different versions of the events. Though the public flooded the police hotline with information, it appears that nothing substantial was fielded.
The victim's great grandmother Vivian exposed the case when she wrote a letter to the National Council for the Child saying that the girl, who had been in her care until last May, had disappeared since her son had taken her. The letter was transferred to the authorities and then to the police. Investigators quickly realized that the case involved an abduction or murder.
The investigation revealed a complicated family history. Rose Ron was born in France to French-born Marie and Pizem, an Israeli, before either had turned 20. When the she was an infant, her parents came to Israel for a visit with Pizem's family. At the end of the visit, Pizem returned to France with his daughter Rose, and Marie remained in Israel after falling in love with Pizem's father, Ronny.
The young father had difficulty raising his daughter and transferred her to a string of institutions.
Meanwhile, Marie and Ron decided to wed and the couple had two daughters. They lived in Modi'in and recently moved to Netanya. The police investigation revealed that a year ago, Marie found out that her daughter, then three years old, was hospitalized in France, apparently after having suffered abuse at the hand of her father. The mother and her new husband, the girl's grandfather, launched a legal battle to gain custody of the girl. "They had a good feeling that they were heading toward reunification. There was anticipation that this would be good for everyone, and especially for the girl," said attorney Revital Swaid, who represents the couple.
Last December, Marie was awarded custody of the girl and she was brought to Israel to the couple's small apartment in Netanya. Reality turned out to be less optimistic than the couple had originally imagined. Rose, who was apparently a victim of abuse, displayed serious communication problems, slammed her head into the wall, defecated in her pants, could barely speak French and spoke no Hebrew at all. She did not know her mother and found it difficult to form an attachment with her mother and grandfather.
The challenges posed by the child's behavior prompted the couple to neglect her. During questioning, they confessed that they had devoted very little time to her. After failing to find a suitable place for her, the couple decided to place her with the grandfather's mother, Vivian.
Vivian's repeated demands that her son care for the girl sparked a deterioration in their relationship. Vivian asked her son to stop bringing the girl to her home, but he did not comply. One day in May, following a bitter fight between them, Ron arrived at his mother's home and angrily took the girl and a suitcase, in which he put Rose's belongings. The relationship between Ron and Vivian was completely severed after the incident.
Finally, months later, when Vivian called her son to inquire about the girl she received no answer. After several more attempts to gather information, the great grandmother decided to approach the authorities.
The welfare services of the Netanya municipality tried to contact the family several times, and when their efforts failed, they notified the police. Officers arrived at the Rons' house and arrested the grandfather when he failed to provide satisfactory answers to their questions.
During questioning, Ronny initially said he had killed Rose, then recanted and told several other stories. Among other things, he said that he sold her to Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, or he had sent her to a yeshiva or that she had traveled abroad.
After his remand was extended for a second time, Ronny confessed to having murdered his granddaughter and recounted the events. He said that he had picked the girl up from his mother's house, got mad at her during the ride and struck her. He said that after hitting her he didn't hear any sounds and when he turned around he saw that her head was limp and that she wasn't breathing. He went on to say that he then panicked and decided to stuff her into the suitcase, drive to the Yarkon and dump her. He then drove to the Bavli neighborhood in Tel Aviv and dumped the body in the river, he told investigators.
When he returned home, his wife Marie was already asleep. In the morning, when she asked where her daughter was, Ronny told her that he had put her in a boarding school. He later told the police that more than anything, he was afraid that his wife would leave him if she knew what he had done. His wife, for her part, asked no more questions.
When the case broke, police arrested Ron, Marie and Vivian. The great grandmother was released to house arrest but the mother is still in custody on suspicion of failure to report a murder.