Israeli nightlife figure found dead in Tel Aviv apartment in apparent murder

August 15, 2014 11:52

Daphna Bar Zion tried to break into the music scene in the 80's, owned hotspot Cafe Suzanna in Neveh Zedek; ex-husband, famous musician, suspected in murder.

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Daphna Bar Zion. (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

The manhunt continued over the weekend for Ilan Ben- Ami, the guitarist for the Habreira Hativeet fusion band, who is wanted in the murder of his wife.

The victim, well-known singer and restaurateur Daphne Bar-Tzion, 49, was found dead on Thursday.

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Ben-Ami, 47, is suspected of bludgeoning her to death in his apartment in south Tel Aviv’s Florentin neighborhood.

Bar-Tzion was the founder and owner of Cafe Suzanna, an institution in the Neveh Tzedek neighborhood for the past 20 years. Before she opened the restaurant, Bar-Tzion was a well-known rock singer in Tel Aviv and recorded a number of singles.

She returned to the music business in 1999, releasing a number of singles and albums over the next decade, to limited success.

Ch.-Supt. Asi Tzur, head of the Yiftah subdistrict’s investigations and intelligence unit, said on Friday that the previous afternoon police received a missing persons complaint from Bar-Tzion’s family and began searching for her. Around 7 p.m., they found her dead inside Ben- Ami’s apartment with signs of serious violence to her body.

A few months ago, Bar-Tzion submitted a domestic abuse complaint against Ben- Ami, Tzur said. In May, police recommended to prosecutors they indict Ben-Ami for the abuse, but the case had not yet advanced beyond that point, he said.

Police are confident Ben- Ami will be found in the coming days, the police officer said.

The couple separated earlier this year.

On Friday, Bar-Tzion’s funeral was held in Petah Tikva before hundreds of mourners.

Hours later, police searched the home of Shlomo Bar, the frontman of Habreira Hativeet, out of suspicion that Ben-Ami may have been hiding there. Bar is not suspected of being involved in the murder.

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