Preschool Assistant Suspected of Killing 14-month-old Girl in Central Israel

Police arrested the suspect along with the preschool manager and another assistant

Yasmin Vineta

A preschool assistant in Petah Tikva is suspected of suffocating a 14-month old girl in her care last month.

According to the indictment, the 23-year-old assistant, a temporary resident from Ukraine, threw Yasmin Vineta on a mattress, threw a blanket over her and lay on top of her until she died. The woman’s detention was extended Wednesday by five days.

There were no signs of violence on the toddler’s body, and at first medical personnel thought the death was from natural causes. But further inquiry into the circumstances led police to get a warrant to search the preschool, where evidence was found in a security camera that the preschool staff thought wasn’t working.

In addition to the assistant, the preschool manager and another assistant were also arrested. Both were released from custody with restrictions.

The security video shows the assistant picking up Vineta in one hand and forcefully throwing her onto a mattress on the floor. The assistant then took another child and laid him down near Vineta. She then totally covered them with a blanket and lay down on top of them while she was looking at her cell phone. When Vineta started to wriggle, she turned her over, covered her again and lay down firmly on top of her until she stopped moving.

The security videos showed numerous other cases of the two assistants acting violently toward the children.