Suspect in Daughter's Death: She Reminded Me of Estranged Wife

The father suspected of suffocating his 3-year-old daughter on Saturday told investigators a demon had gotten into him and that the girl reminded him of her mother, who had hurt him.

"I wanted us both to up to heaven. I love her and I'm sorry about what happened," Assaf Goldring said, weeping.

"I took a lot of pills and then I don't remember what happened," Goldring told detectives from the Central Unit of the police Central District, regarding the death of his daughter, Noa at his home in Moshav Batzra in central Israel.

Noa's mother, Lisa, eulogized her at her funeral in Jerusalem yesterday.

"My darling, I love you and I will always love you and now you are with your real father, the king of kings is protecting you Himself. My beloved child, protect us all."

Goldring had told police Saturday that he suffocated his daughter with plastic wrap.

He refused investigators' demands to explain why he had changed his story.

"The findings of the investigation are consistent with the findings of the autopsy, which confirm that Noa died of suffocation. We continue to suspect Goldring murdered his daughter," Levine said.

He added that police would continue to probe what happened in the weeks before the murder.

Lisa Goldring, who had at first refused to let her daughter be autopsied, changed her mind after consulting with a rabbi and negotiating with police.

"From what we have collected so far and from sitting across from the suspect during questioning, I see a cold, calculated man who acted sanely while committing the act and afterward," said Chief Inspector Elidov Hecht, who is heading the investigative team.

Police believe a few hours before the murder, Goldring began writing the letter detailing how his relationship with his wife and her family had deteriorated over the past year. After he finished writing, he laid his daughter down to sleep and then suffocated her, police believe.

Goldring was taken yesterday morning to the hospital after an apparent second suicide attempt, and from there to the Central District's Central Unit headquarters in Ramle, where he met briefly with his lawyer, Gad Zilbershlag. He was then placed in an interrogation room.

"He said he was confused and that he did not remember what happened after he took pills. But considering the fact that an hour earlier he had met with his lawyer, I was not surprised he changed his version," a senior Central Unit officer said yesterday.

Police seemed unimpressed by the suspect's suicide attempts. "This is a former army officer, a captain, a calculated person," a senior officer in the Central District said. "In my opinion, if he had really been trying to commit suicide, he would have succeeded."

His father, David Goldring, asked the media to respect the family's privacy.

"We are deeply in mourning over the terrible tragedy, and we just want to be left alone," David Goldring told the media at his son's remand hearing yesterday at the Ramle Magistrate's Court.

The elder Goldring had earlier told investigators he found his granddaughter's body after calling early Saturday morning and gathering from his son's voice that something was wrong. He said he rushed to the house and found his son with his hands covered in blood after a botched suicide attempt.

Police asked the judge to remand the suspect due to the possibility that he might flee or obstruct the investigation if he were released, and said he is dangerous. He cut several policemen in the attempt to subdue him, police told the court.

Yesterday at the hospital, while Goldring was in the toilet, out of his guards' sight, he slammed his head into the wall.

The judge extended Goldring's remand for 10 days, and granted the request by Goldring's lawyer that he undergo psychiatric evaluation, which is expected to take about a week.

"Neither I, nor anyone else, can understand what was behind the act," the lawyer told the court in demanding the psychiatric evaluation.

Noa's material grandmother, Mazal Noam, said yesterday she had no idea this would happen.

"I still don't know if Lisa was afraid of him. We loved him," she said. "He should get the electric chair. An eye for an eye. Why did he take her life? Let them take his," she added.

"What I saw in that house, in such a pastoral setting, I will never forget," a Central Unit officer said yesterday. The biggest question is what exactly was going through his head, and that we will apparently never know. Nothing can explain the murder of a little girl," the officer said.