Police Probe Dismembered Bodies Found in Separate Locations in Past Week

Tel Aviv police chief says no missing persons were reported anywhere in country.

The dismembered body of a woman was found on Friday morning in Alexander River, north of Netanya, police said. A human foot was found in the same river the day before. Also on Friday, the body of a man was found near Rishon Letzion, while earlier in the week a woman's torso was found in a burning trash can on a residential street in Ramat Gan.

Police Commissioner David Cohen, Tel Aviv district commander Major General Shachar Ayalon, and investigative division chief Major General Yoav Segalovich all personally inspected the location on the Alexander River where the body had been found. They decided to set up two joint teams from the Tel Aviv and Central districts, and to begin searching the river from the sea up to Turtle Bridge, along with volunteers, Border Police forces and boats.

Ayalon said the police had not been informed of any missing persons, and urged Israelis to contact police if they suspect a friend or family member may be missing.

Earlier last week, the torso of a woman was found in a burning trash can in Ramat Gan. Ayalon said information has been gathered at the scene, but that all details on either investigation were under a gag order.

The police commissioner said that "Until investigation and tests at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine are complete, it's too soon to tell if the cases are linked."

"We will be searching the river and its banks extensively. The investigation will be run jointly by two districts - Tel Aviv and Central - and it will be coordinated by unit Lahav 443. I suggest we wait patiently and keep things in proportion. I believe we'll all be wiser in a few hours," Cohen said.

The commissioner was also keen to stress that the area was safe to travel in. "Israelis throughout the country are very safe and secure," he said.

"We have had no reports on missing women, and the investigative teams are still waiting autopsy results to try and identify the victims," the officer continued.

Cohen said over the weekend that the murders will be thoroughly investigated. "The investigations of the cruel acts of violence and murder over the last few days will receive all the attention, means and instruments we have, and we'll bring the suspects to trial," the commissioner said. "These are cases with different backgrounds and circumstances. The police officers and constables are on the streets day and night, and the interrogators are putting in long hours in the interrogation rooms. We have the best units and investigators working on these cases."

Also on Friday, the body of a man was found in an abandoned building near the Beit Dagan junction north of Rishon Letzion. Police said the body, which could not be immediately identified, was severely decayed and appears to have been in the building for a number of weeks.