A 30-year-old man has confessed to police to strangling his three-year-old daughter to death in his home in the village of Batzra, in the Sharon district of central Israel, on Saturday.
Police believe Assaf Goldring choked his daughter, Noa, and then tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists and attempting to overdose on sleeping pills.
Goldring is in the midst of bitter divorce proceedings from his wife, police said, adding that they believe the murder to be linked to the separation. A letter by Goldring addressed to his wife was recovered by detectives in the home.
"He has linked himself to the attack," a police spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post. "Contrary to some press reports, no signs of violence were apparent on the girl's body," she added.
Magen David Adom paramedics were called to the scene by the suspect's father, who became alarmed after hearing his son mumble incoherently on the phone.
The suspect's father arrived at his son's home and found him attempting to slit his own wrists with a knife. He managed to overpower his son and disarm him following a struggle.
Paramedics and police arrived on the scene and discovered the little girl's body lying on a bed in the home. She was declared dead by a doctor upon arrival at the Meir hospital in Kfar Saba. Goldring was rushed to the hospital in light condition. He has been arrested and is being kept under police watch.
"The deceased girl's parents are undergoing divorce proceedings, and the girl was staying with her father in Batzra," the police spokeswoman said.
"The girl's mother was located in Jerusalem by police, and has been notified," she added.
Dep.-Cmdr. of Kfar Saba police, Mori Harush, told the Post that the suspect had no prior criminal record.
The investigation was initially conducted by Kfar Saba police, but was then transferred to the homicide department of the Central District's Central Unit. A CSI team entered the home on Saturday afternoon to begin taking evidence from the crime scene.