Abuse (Illustrative Photo).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
David Chaim – the ex-husband of Ofira Chaim, who was found dead Tuesday in the garden of her home in Tel Mond two weeks after she was reported missing – is the main suspect in her murder.
Chaim and a female family member appeared before the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court on Wednesday. The court extended his remand by a week, while placing a second suspect under house arrest.
A gag order prohibits the publication of her name.
She is suspected of involvement in the crime but not of committing the murder. Local media reported that David Chaim had previously been convicted of uttering threats against Ofira Chaim and of assaulting her.
At the court hearing, a police representative said that Chaim had confessed to the murder. His ex-wife was 54, and the mother of three daughters.
Police found her body in the backyard of her home in the usually peaceful town of Tel Mond near Netanya after her son-in-law reported he had found a suspicious hole in the garden. Police suspect Chaim murdered his ex-wife in a dispute over money.
Following the discovery of her body, police questioned several relatives.
Additional suspects were arrested but were released Wednesday in light of a development in the investigation.
The day Chaim went missing, she had been invited to a conference in the Tel Mond area, but never showed up.
“Immediately upon receipt of the report that she was missing, the police began a search and opened an investigation into her disappearance,” police said on Tuesday.
“Yesterday, the Israel Police conducted an assessment of the situation, following which police and forensics teams arrived this morning to conduct searches and excavations near her place of residence.
As they suspected, during the search, a body was found which was suspected to be the body of the missing person. Due to the condition of the body, it will be sent for final identification at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute,” the statement continued, noting that with the identification of the body as Chaim’s the missing person’s case would become a murder investigation.