Court Orders Psych Test for 23-year-old Murder Suspect

With a hooded sweatshirt covering her head and appearing pale and fragile, 23-year-old Adi Elbaz, a resident of Jerusalem, was brought into court on Friday morning. She was arrested on suspicion of having stabbed her friend to death last Thursday in the Bnei Brak apartment of her friend's grandmother. Judge Hanan Efrati accepted the police request to extend the suspect's detention for another 12 days during which she will undergo psychiatric evaluation at Abarbanel Hospital.

On Thursday the suspect called the police and told the operator she murdered her friend. Dan Region police found the 24-year-old victim in an apartment on Jerusalem Street where she had died after having been repeatedly stabbed.

The suspect in the murder managed to flee from the scene, but about two hours later was arrested in Jerusalem along with her mother and sister, who are suspected of being accomplices after the murder and they were taken for questioning. Several hours later the mother and sister were released, but Elbaz, who is suspected of killing her friend, refused to cooperate with interrogators and reportedly did not answer the many questions directed at her.

In a hearing on extending her detention on Friday the suspect's lawyer, Kobi Kemer, argued that the victim might have been pregnant, raising the possibility that there is a connection between the murder and the pregnancy, a connection that may indicate the involvement of others. Judge Efrati accepted the defense lawyer's motion in the matter and allowed for blood samples to be taken from the deceased to determine whether or not she was pregnant at the time of her murder.

The defense lawyer further claimed that a man seen close to the time of the murder near the apartment where the victim was found, left the area by cab and headed toward the airport. Investigators said the man might be involved in the murder.

Yesterday the police said that the investigation is looking into several different directions but Elbaz, who confessed to the murder over the phone to police operators, remains the prime suspect.