(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Three days after his wife was found bludgeoned to death inside his apartment, police still have not found chief suspect Ilan Ben-Ami, 47, and have asked the public for help
In a statement put out Sunday, Tel Aviv police said Ben-Ami was last seen on Thursday and asked for anyone who has any details on his whereabouts to come forward.
So far police have questioned his friends and family members as well as fellow musicians he played with over the years. No sign of Ben-Ami has yet been found, but Tel Aviv police denied Sunday that the trail has run cold.
“It's not that there's no trace of him, it’s just we're asking if anyone has seen him to please come forward,” said Ch.-Insp. Sami Dzobas, a spokesman for the Tel Aviv district.
Asked if they suspect Ben-Ami may have fled the country, he said “we believe and hope he's still in Israel”
Ben-Ami's estranged wife Daphne Bar-Tzion was found dead inside Ben-Ami's apartment in the Florentine neighborhood of south Tel Aviv on Thursday night, hours after her family submitted a missing persons report.
Bar-Tzion, 49, was the founder and owner of "Cafe Suzanna" a local institution in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood for the past 20 years. She also was the owner of other eateries and was known for being a rock singer in Tel Aviv decades earlier. Bar-Tzion began recording again in 1999, releasing a number of singles and albums over the next decade, but did not find a wide audience for her music.
On Friday, Ch.-Supt. Asi Tzur, the head of the Yiftah subdistrict's investigations and intelligence unit, said the couple was well-known to police after Daphne submitted a domestic abuse complaint against Ben-Ami a few months earlier. Tzur said that in May police recommended to prosecutors that they indict Ben-Ami for the domestic abuse, but that the case had not reached that stage before Bar-Tzion died.
Ben-Ami is the guitarist for the band "Habreira Hativeet" and was one of the writers and creators of "Baby Oriental", an album of children's songs put to Mizrahi, Mediterranean, and world beat rhythms.