Mother, Grandfather on Trial for Murder of 4-year-old Rose Pizem

Rose's body was found in a red suitcase in the Yarkon in September, 4 months after reported missing.

The trial of the mother and grandfather alleged to have killed four-year-old Rose Pizem last year commenced Sunday morning at the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court.

Rose's grandfather Ronny Ron confessed several months ago via his defense attorney Gil Friedman to having caused her death. Friedman said that Ron accidentally caused Rose's death and had not expected it. Ron is also Rose's stepfather, as he is the live-in lover of her mother, Marie-Charlotte Renault.

According to the charges submitted in September, Ron or Renault - or both of them - placed Rose's body in a red suitcase after having caused her death. How they caused her death or where they did it is unknown. It is also unknown if Rose was alive when she was placed in the suitcase.

The prosecutor has struggled to show the role played by the girl's mother in the murder. Revital Swaid, representing Renault, requested that the court drop the charges against her on the grounds that they do not describe any crime on her part.

Prosecutor Anna Avidov also acknowledged before the court that there was little evidence of the role played by Renault.

"What exact physical component did she play that we know of?" Avidov asked, adding that "we do not know if the accused physically carried out the act of killing."

Avidov also struggled to come up with an answer on whether Renault was present during the murder, what her own role was and whether she helped prepare the red suitcase in which Rose was found.

Pizem's body was found inside the red suitcase in the Yarkon River in September last year, four months after she was reported missing.

Rose was born in Paris in 2004 to Renault, a French Jew with relatives in Israel, and Benjamin Pizem, the child of a French mother and an Israeli father. At the age of one, Rose made her first visit to Israel. That was the first significant encounter Benjamin had ever had with his father, Ron, and the first time Marie had ever met him.