Rose's Mom, Grandfather Charged in Her Murder

The police and prosecution do not know which of the suspects actually murdered 4-year-old Rose Pizem, or when, where and how the murder occurred. Indictments filed yesterday against Pizem's grandfather Ronny Ron and mother Marie-Charlotte Renault rely primarily on circumstantial evidence and the account of the murder raises more questions than answers. Even prosecutor Rachel Avisar admitted that, "After a month and half of investigations, there are still unanswered questions, which is why the charges are composed in such a manner. We do not know how Rose died."

According to the indictment, Ron and Renault found it hard to raise Rose, and Renault begged her husband to get Rose out of their house, threatening suicide. In March 2008, Rose was taken to the Netanya home of Ron's mother, Vivian Yaakov. Yaakov asked Ron to arrange schooling for the child, which he did not. On May 12, Yaakov asked Ron to take Rose back home, stipulating that she could be brought back only if she was registered for preschool.

When Ron went to pick up Rose, a crying and screaming Renault demanded he not bring her home. The state charges that the pair then decided to kill Rose. One or both of them took a large suitcase in which to place her body, also packing Rose's clothes and belongings for reasons not stated in the indictments. They then caused her premeditated death, the means and place of which remain unknown. Afterward, Rose was stuffed into the suitcase - either alive or dead, by one or both of them - and then Ron threw the suitcase into the Yarkon River.

The prosecution detailed the evidence that allegedly proves the couple is guilty of murder, including a tape of Ron and Renault coordinating their stories on the day of their arrest, testimony from Ron's mother and sisters that Rose hadn't been seen alive since May 12, testimony contradicting Renault's claim that she didn't know Rose was dead, and of course, Rose's body, found in the Yarkon River.

The charges filed against Ron yesterday rely primarily on his confession and reconstruction of the crime. The prosecution believes its circumstantial evidence supports charges of premeditation and therefore murder. However, undisputedly, the real challenge in the trial will be to prove Renault's guilt. The case does not include any "smoking gun," a single definitive piece of evidence indicating who actually murdered Rose.

Undoubtedly, the defense is already looking for people who will say they saw Rose after May 12, although the actual date of the murder does not appear in the indictment.

In essence, neither of the pair have changed their version of events during 40 days of interrogation and neither has betrayed the other.

Renault's lawyer, Revital Swid, yesterday called the indictment "unclear and laconic and lacking an evidentiary basis." According to Swid, the murder charge against Renault is purely a tactical move in light of public opinion. Ron's lawyer Gil Friedman said, "The indictment is one of the most deficient I have seen."

Avisar said the prosecution decided on the murder charges because of a common motive, decision and implementation. Asked how the prosecution reached that conclusion, Avisar replied, "We will explain that to the court."