Mother Arrested for Suspected Bathtub Drowning of Her 4-year-old Son in Southern Israel

Court orders the 26-year-old Ukranian national be held without bail for five days and sent her for a psychiatric evaluation

Scene of the incident in Eilat, February 12, 2019
MDA Spokesperson

A woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murdering her 4-year-old son by drowning. The boy died Tuesday morning at Yoseftal Medical Center, several hours after he was removed from a bathtub in the family’s home in Eilat.

A court ordered the 26-year-old woman held without bail for five days and sent her for a psychiatric evaluation. A source involved in the investigation said the mother, a Ukrainian national, has had trouble giving police a coherent story because of her distress.

A government source said that just hours before the incident, the woman and her Israeli husband, who isn’t the boy’s father, went to an Interior Ministry office with the boy as part of the woman’s naturalization. The source said the woman arrived in 2016, stayed for a month then returned in April 2018 and married her husband “after a very brief acquaintance.”

A person who knew the family said the boy loved his stepfather and even preferred him to the mother. “He was so attached to the man that you might have thought he was his son,” he said.

Police said that when they arrived at the house, they heard the man yell at his wife, “You killed him.” But when questioned later, the husband said he wasn’t home when the boy drowned.