Judge Says Evidence Suggests Mother Involved in Murder of 4-year-old Rose

Marie-Charlotte Renault and Ronny Ron, Rose's grandfather and step-father, were charged in September with murdering the girl.

A Petah Tikva District Court judge ruled Tuesday that the evidence collected so far in the investigation of the death of Rose Pizem last summer points to the involvement of the 4-year-old's mother. Judge Meir Yifrach ordered an examination of Marie-Charlotte Renault in order to determine whether she could be placed in alternative custody.

Renault and Ronny Ron, Rose's grandfather and step-father, were charged in September with murdering the girl, whose body was found on September 11 by divers dragging the Yarkon River, about a month after her disappearance. Ron, who was the Renault's father-in-law until he replaced her husband, confessed to the murder and led police to the spot in Tel Aviv where he said he tossed the body into the river.

Yifrach's ruling on the state's request to keep Pizem in jail until the end of legal proceedings included the judge's analysis of the evidence in the case. He disputed the prosecution's contention that Renault threatened to kill herself unless Ron removed her daughter from the house. He also said in his ruling that Ron controlled Renault and not the other way around, as the prosecution tried to argue.

Renault had told police that she had thought that Ron had placed her daughter in a boarding school in France, but when Ron told a police officer who visited their home prior to the investigation that Rose was in kindergarten at the time, Renault said nothing.

"Marie should have taken a stand and expressed her knowledge of the truth then. The fact that she didn't works against her" and tends to support Renault's implication in Rose's death, Yifrach wrote.

Yifrach said that while the evidence was not conclusive with regard to the question of whether Renault helped prepare the suitcase in which her daughter's body was placed and thrown into the Yarkon, Ron did try to coordinate with Renault their stories on the bag as well as on when Renault was told that Rose had been sent to a French school.