The badly beaten body found in Berlin earlier this week has been identified by German police as Israeli Yosi Damari, 22.
An autopsy conducted on the body revealed that Damari was killed on Saturday between 5 P.M. and 9 P.M. His body was discovered on Sunday in the ruins of a Franciscan church near the Alexanderplatz, in central Berlin.
A passport found in the man's pocket contained full identification details, but the Berlin police said it was not initially clear whether the passport belonged to the victim as he could not be properly identified.
"The man's face was destroyed beyond recognition," a police investigator told the German tabloid Bild.
Berlin police have released an official statement requesting public assistance in the murder investigation and calling on anyone who may have visited the church area over the Easter holiday between 8 P.M. Saturday and 6 A.M. Sunday and seen something unusual to contact investigators immediately.
A spokesman of the Berlin prosecutor's office told Reuters that Damari had been in the city for at least several weeks before he was killed and that "at this stage there is no evidence that the motive was robbery. Nor is there any indication that the background was political."
The body was identified by DNA with the assistance of the Israeli consul in the city, Eyal Siso, who said that the deceased had requested financial assistance from the embassy on the eve of Passover.
"I didn't meet him," Siso said in an interview with Israel's Channel 2. "He came to the embassy on the eve of the holiday and asked for financial assistance. We spoke with his family and gave him a list of hotels in which he could stay. He stayed at Chabad House over Pesach and celebrated the seder with them."
Siso added that he had met with the German police and that, as of last night, the motive behind the murder was unknown.
"At this stage, all leads are being investigated," he said. "That includes both anti-Semitic and criminal motives."
"The assumption of the police at this stage is that the motive was criminal, but it hasn't been confirmed. They think there is little chance that it was nationalistic of anti-Semitic, but they can't discount them as yet. They're checking everything."
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