Father Suspected of Murdering 3-year-old Daughter in Batzra

Police suspect the girl's father murdered her and then attempted to commit suicide.

Police arrested on Saturday a resident of Batzra, a Moshav in central Israel, on suspicion of murdering his 3-year-old daughter.

Officers suspect that the man, later named as Assaf Goldring, 30, attempted to commit suicide after the alleged murder of his daughter, Noah.

Earlier Saturday, Magen David Adom emergency services arrived at the family's home and found the toddler dead with severe bruises on her body. The father, who appeared disoriented after an apparent suicide attempt, was taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava for treatment.

Police said that the father is in the process of getting divorced from his wife, who lives in Jerusalem. The girl, they said, had been in her mother's custody, and was spending the weekend at her father's house.

Officers added that a preliminary investigation revealed that the girl's grandfather, who was visiting at the time, found her dead on a bed in the home, while her father was on the floor with his hands covered in blood. The grandfather called Magen David Adom and police.

Paramedic Miki Kafri said they tried to resuscitate the girl but "unfortunately, all we could do was pronounce her dead."

Kfar Sava police questioned the man while he was in hospital, and he connected himself to the incident.

The Central District Police commander, Major General Nissim Mor, told Haaretz that, "The father says he strangled the girl. We'll know at a later stage what the exact reason for this was."

He added that the story reminded police of the death of Rose Pizem, over which the girl's paternal grandfather and mother are on trial after her body was found in a suitcase in the Yarkon River last September.

"There is no doubt that this reminds us of the Rose affair. You enter the house and see a beautiful little child left lying lifeless, that's very difficult for everybody," Mor said.

Police were also working to contact the mother, who they said may be observing the Sabbath and therefore not answering the telephone.

An acquaintance of the girl's mother told Haaretz Saturday evening that the alleged murder was probably Goldring's way of obtaining revenge against his wife.

The acquaintance said that the two had been married for three-and-a-half years, and had gone through ups and downs "like every couple."

"They lived mostly at the father's mother's house, on the moshav. The mother didn't like living there and because of that they moved to Jerusalem a year ago," the acquaintance said, adding that Assaf Goldring had initiated the separation because the marriage was no longer suitable for him.