One-time Suspect in Unresolved 1982 Murder of 12-year-old Israeli Girl Questioned Again

Body of Nava Elimelech recently exhumed on basis of new lead

A portrait of Nava Elimelech in her mother's home in Holon, August 5, 2019.
\ Moti Milrod

A man who was once a suspect in the murder of 12-year-old Nava Elimelech was questioned against by the police on Thursday.

Elimelech was killed in 1982. Her body was recently exhumed because the police said they had a new lead.

Upon entering the police station, the man said, “It’s utter nonsense. I’m coming here with full confidence.”

His lawyer, Moshe Meroz, said, “We’re getting the impression that the police have no leads, and this is a repeat of an investigation that ended in the past in nothing. Apparently, the exhumation of the body was unjustified, and the police are now trying to cover this up by any means possible.”

In the four weeks since Elimelech’s body was exhumed, the remains have been autopsied by the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir. But the autopsy produced no information that could advance the investigation, because the body, which was buried without some of its organs, was in such poor shape.

Earlier this week, police gave Elimelech’s parents the earrings she was wearing when she was killed, but didn’t say when or where they were found.

“We have no new information aside from the earrings, which definitely give us hope,” Elimelech’s brother Yaakov said. “The policemen said that when the investigation is finished, we’ll get all the answers.”

Elimelech, who lived in Bat Yam, was last seen at 3 P.M. on March 20, 1982, when she ran into her older sister, Efrat, on the street. That evening, when she didn’t come home, her parents called the police. Ten days later, two passersby found her severed head on the Tel Baruch beach in Tel Aviv. Later, other parts of her body were found strewn along the beach.