Holon: Police suspect murder, attempted suicide

Elderly woman found in burnt-out apartment with belt around her neck; caretaker jumps out of window.

October 27, 2007 11:36
ambulance 88

ambulance 88. (photo credit: )

Police suspect a 47-year-old Moldovan caretaker of strangling her 76-year-old employer to death and setting the woman's Holon apartment on fire. The body of 76-year-old Shoshana Birenbach was found Saturday morning in her burned-out apartment with a belt around her neck. The caretaker jumped from the second-story window during the blaze and was seriously injured. Police said that they were called to the apartment by neighbors, who heard screams coming from the home where Birenbach lived with the caretaker. Police found the injured caretaker below the apartment's open window. They then discovered Birenbach's burned body in her bedroom. An MDA team took the caretaker to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer, where she remains a suspect in Birenbach's death. Investigators said they believed that the caretaker choked the woman to death, set the apartment on fire and then tried either to commit suicide or to flee the emergency squads who were arriving on the scene. One police official said "there are signs at the scene which indicate the possibility of a murder," adding that "no incidents of violence had been reported in the past, but some neighbors are said to have periodically heard screams from inside the apartment."

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