'Our Nephew Is a Psychopath': Brother of Israeli Women Murdered in Argentina Speaks Out on Suspect

Gil Pereg is suspected of murdering his mother and aunt and burying them in his backyard

Lily Pereg and Pyrhia Sarusi
Screenshot/GoFundMe

The brother of two Israeli women whose bodies were found in Argentina on the yard of one of the women's son said that latter is suffering from mental illness.

Moshe Pereg claimed that his nephew Gilad's condition emerged after his grandfather passed away.

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Lily Pereg, a 54-year-old biology researcher who resided in Australia, and the 63-year-old Pyrhia Sarusi who lived in Israel had traveled to the northwestern Mendoza province of Argentina to visit Pyrhia's son, Gil. They went missing two weeks ago. On Wednesday, Argentine police arrested Gil Pereg on suspicion of murder and later found their bodies buried in his yard.

Moshe Pereg spoke out about suspicions against his nephew at a news conference in Tel Aviv. “My father, of blessed memory, loved [Gil] and served as a father figure for him, after Gilad’s father abandoned the family and left Pyrhia to take care of five children. After my father died in 2006, Gilad’s behavior changed and it seemed that he developed a psychological disorder that was not completely diagnosed,” he said.

When asked what he thought the motive for the alleged murders was, Pereg said he had no idea. “It is hard for me to believe it is something connected to the long-term relationship between Pyrhia and Gilad.” He called his nephew "a psychopath," and said he assumed it was something that set off instantaneously. “The police suspected him from the first moment. They didn’t involve him and in retrospect it turned out that they suspected [him] from the beginning; I thought he was involved but only to an extent,” Pereg added.

He also recounted how two weeks ago he had received a call from the Israeli consulate in Argentina saying Gilad had reported the women missing to local police. "We gathered the entire family in Pyrhia’s house and organized all our activities, including filing a complaint with the police in Rehovot, maintaining contact with the Situation Room in the Foreign Ministry, consulting with friends with connections wherever is needed, and planning a trip to Mendoza.”

He called his nephew a “real genius,” who was an outstanding student in his youth and also excelled in his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Argentinian police found $48,000 in Gil’s house, along with three pistols and a large number of dogs and cats. Gil had gun licenses for 42 pistols and refused to provide the police with a DNA sample, his uncle noted.

According to local reports, Pereg had reported on the disappearance of the women to the police, saying that when he last saw them they were boarding a bus in the downtown area of Mendoza. He claimed that their disappearance might be linked to a "revenge plot" against him and said that he had received life threats.