Suspect Arrested in Murder of 12-year-old Asylum Seeker

Manhunt ends as police nab former boyfriend of girl's mother in case that has drawn attention to violence against girls and the plight of refugees

Bar Peleg
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Tasafbaran Tsefsion seen in security camera footage on the day of the murder.
Tasafbaran Tsefsion seen in security camera footage on the day of the murder. Credit:
Bar Peleg

Police arrested the suspect in the murder of a 12-year-old Eritrean girl on Wednesday, following a two-day manhunt.

>> Murder of 12-year-old girl shows human rights in Israel are only for Jews | Analysis

Tasafbaran Tsefsion, who had previously been romantically involved with the girl's mother, is suspected of sexually assaulting Silvana Tsegai before killing her.

>> Why the murder of a 12-year old in south Tel Aviv comes as no surprise | Analysis

Security footage from a business next to the 12-year-old asylum seeker's home from the day of the murder showed Tsefsion arriving at the apartment building at 1 P.M. and departing at 3:40 P.M. after, police suspect, beating the girl to death. The girl's mother found her body when she returned home at 9:30 P.M.  

The discovery of Silvana's body came hours after police found the body of a missing 16-year-old Israeli Arab girl.

The police announced Monday that the body of 16-year-old Yara Ayoub had been found in the village of Jish in Upper Galilee, after she had been missing for three days. Police suspect she was murdered.

A 28-year-old male resident of Jish, a predominantly Christian town, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the case and was remanded in custody. His 53-year-old father was arrested on Monday evening.

The discovery of the girls' bodies just hours apart has drawn fresh attention to the issue of violence against women and girls as well as distress experienced by asylum seekers.