Still No Sign of Rose as Police, Volunteers Scour Riverbed

What appeared to be suitcase holding missing girl at bottom of Yarkon turned out to be sack full of garbage.

Police were full of hope that they had finally found the body of 4-year-old Rose Pizem on Monday, but the hope was soon disappointed.

The excitement began when volunteer divers from the ZAKA rescue organization said they had located what appeared to be a suitcase at the bottom of the Yarkon River. Rose's grandfather, Ronny Ron, who has confessed to killing her, had previously told the police that he stuffed her body in a suitcase and threw it into the Yarkon; ever since, police and volunteer divers have been scouring the riverbed for the missing suitcase.

However, what had looked like a suitcase in the river's murky waters turned out to be nothing more than a sack full of garbage in broad daylight.

Police and volunteers also continued to search elsewhere in the Netanya region on Monday, where Rose and her family lived.

In addition, due to doubts over whether Ron is telling the truth about where he hid the body, police are continuing to interrogate him and his live-in lover, Marie-Charlotte Renault, who is also Rose's mother. However, they have not yet staged a confrontation between Ron and Marie, who is suspected of being an accessory to the murder, because Marie has as yet shown no sign of anger against Ron, nor has she ever demanded to know where her daughter's body is.

The Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child also discussed Rose's case on Monday. But since the Knesset is on recess, only one MK besides committee chair Nadia Hilou (Labor) showed up - and even that MK, Zeev Elkin (Kadima), was there only briefly.

Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, chairman of the National Council for the Child, told the committee that five or six children are murdered by relatives every year in Israel. But Dr. Hanita Zimrin, who heads Eli, the Israel Association for Child Protection, said she thought this was an underestimate. Many cases that are listed as suicides or accidents may have been murders, she said.

Hannah Lachish, director of Netanya's welfare department, responded to the question of how Rose could have been missing for almost three months without anyone alerting the authorities: "The fact that a child disappeared for two and a half months and no one knew or reported it indicates it's possible. The system isn't hermetically sealed. The fact is that it happened."

However, she added, when Rose's great-grandmother finally did report her absence, the matter was handled that very same day. She noted that the family had not previously been known to her department, or to its counterpart in Modi'in, where they lived before moving to Netanya.

Hilou proposed enacting a law that would require the police to investigate anonymous missing person reports. But a police representative argued that this would do more harm than good. Currently, people who file such reports are required to identify themselves.

Hilou also said she favored a law mandating a parenting course for all parents. "Every profession, even the lowliest, requires training," she argued. "The only profession that involves no training is parenting."