The aunt of a Scottish woman raped and beaten to death in Eilat has flown to Israel to talk to police amid concerns the case is not being properly handled and to renew the family's request to treat the case as a murder, The Daily Record reported on Sunday.
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Victim Julie Pearson’s aunt, Deborah, said ahead of her arrival on Saturday she had received pledges of support from Israeli deputy UK ambassador Eitan Na’eh after meeting him in Edinburgh on Friday.
But the meeting was "difficult," Deborah Pearson said, because she had to show him graphic photographs "of the extensive injuries and bruising" her niece had suffered.
Julie Pearson, 38, was found dead on November 27. Her boyfriend Amjad Hatib was questioned within hours of her death. But the 31-year-old, who was jailed for a month in May for a previous attack on Pearson, has not been charged with any offence and remains at large in Israel.
Witnesses have claimed Julie said she was beaten by Hatib hours before her death, while another heard her screaming and saying that she was being raped.
Pearson had been working in Eilat in hotel jobs and was in the process of becoming an Israeli citizen.
Her tourist visa had run out and her family fear that stopped her seeking medical help hours before she died.
Israeli police say Julie’s case remains open and they are awaiting autopsy results, the Record said.