Woman Allegedly Doused With Boiling Oil by Daughter Dies

Daughter claims she tripped over robotic vacuum cleaner, accidentally dropped pot of oil on mother's head; investigation reopened.

Lee Yaron
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An Israel Police station in Osfiya.
Illustration: An Israel Police station.Credit: Moran Maayan
Lee Yaron

A woman whose daughter poured boiling oil on her has died, prompting prosecutors to return the case to the police for further investigation.

Police suspect that Sapir Nisani poured boiling oil on her mother two months ago with intent to kill. They concluded their investigation a few weeks ago and sent the case to the prosecution for a decision on whether to indict, and on what charges. Last week, prosecutors summoned Nisani to a hearing at which they considered two possible charges – aggravated injury or negligent injury.

But on Sunday, Miriam Nisani died of an infection at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, where she had been hospitalized. As a result, prosecutors have returned the case to the police for further investigation that could result in more serious charges – negligent homicide, manslaughter or even murder.

Miriam Nisani spent several weeks in the hospital in a coma, on artificial respiration. On Sunday, when it became clear that she was about to die, the police allowed her daughter to pay her a final visit. 

“The police allowed Sapir to be alone with her mother before she died today, and she still hasn’t digested this terrible news,” said her public defender, Guy Ein-Zvi. “It’s important to emphasize that based on all the evidence, this was a tragic accident, not a deliberate act.”

Nisani claimed throughout the investigation that the injury was an accident – that she had tripped over a robotic vacuum cleaner and dropped the pot of boiling oil she was carrying. Last month, she was released to house arrest after police failed to find enough evidence to justify her continued detention.

“The reason the police even came to my house is that I said if something happens to my mother, I don’t want to live,” Nisani at one court hearing. “This was the impulsive decision of a moment – but I would never have hurt my mother.”

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