Man Suspected of Killing Prostitute in Tel Aviv With Date-rape Drug While With a Second Prostitute

Police believe he sought services of another prostitute instead of getting help, and the delay caused woman’s death

Israeli medical services move the murdered woman's body, Tel Aviv, January 21, 2018
Tomer Appelbaum

A Tel Aviv man is suspected of manslaughter for giving a prostitute a date-rape drug that led to her death. The body of the 26-year-old woman was found in the home of Eitan Darhi, 46, on Sunday.

On Monday the Tel Aviv District Court ordered Darhi to be kept in custody for four days. The police believe that instead of getting help for the woman, he sought out the services of another prostitute, and the delay led to the first woman’s death.

According to the preliminary investigation, the deceased woman was soliciting clients near the Tel Aviv central bus station. On Saturday night Darhi went to the area and agreed to pay for her services, with part of the payment going for the purchase of drugs. After buying drugs for the both of them, the two went to his apartment on Malan Street in Tel Aviv.

Police believe that after the two took drugs and had intercourse, the woman drank from a bottle in Darhi’s apartment that contained GHB, a common date-rape drug. After a short time, the woman lost consciousness in his bed.

The police are trying to determine at what point Darhi understood that the woman had died.

Under questioning, Darhi said that the woman had brought the drug with her. He also thought that she had merely fallen asleep when he left her in his apartment. Darhi said that when the woman lost consciousness, he called a friend to ask her what to do. He claims the friend told him that it was a common reaction to the drug. Darhi then brought another prostitute to his home and had sex with her while the first woman was still in his bed. Darhi, who himself had taken drugs, fell asleep. When he woke up Sunday morning he realized the young woman had died and summoned an ambulance.

When the police arrived at the apartment, they initially thought the woman died of an overdose, but on Monday they asked the court to extend Darhi’s detention on suspicion that he killed her. Police suspect that it he who gave the woman the date-rape drug, knowing it could lead to her death. They also believe that he could have called rescue personnel earlier and saved her life. The woman’s body will be autopsied.

The deceased woman was known to activists of local organizations that assist prostitutes, who said that she had used their services several times. The activists noted that she never stayed in one place for long.

“This was a young, lost girl who had been using drugs for many years,” one of the activists told Haaretz. Another activist, Anat Brenner of the Red Carpet Center, one such organization, added that “she was a very beautiful, quiet, polite and very closed girl who did not let people get close to her.” A few months ago she was sent to a drug rehab program but dropped out after a week, Brenner said.

Attorney Nir Alfasa, the public defender representing Darhi, said, “The suspect is cooperating with investigators and gave his version of events. He claims that he had no intention of harming the young woman and that as soon as he realized that her medical condition was grave as a result of drug use, he summoned the rescue services. He should be suspected of causing death by negligence, and not as argued.”

This is the first death of a prostitute in Israel this year. Five prostitutes, one of them a transgender woman, died in 2017. According to an official report the Social Affairs Ministry issued in June, 59 prostitutes have died since 2010, 35 percent of them from unknown causes, 24 percent from drug overdose, 14 percent from illnesses, 9 percent from heart failure, 6 percent from a systemic collapse, 6 percent were hit by vehicles, 4 percent committed suicide and 2 percent were killed.