On Monday, convicted murderer Avraham Levy's remand was extended for an additional seven days after police said they had found enough evidence to convict him on a unsolved 2004 murder.
Sarah Suto, a Beersheba resident in her 60s, was found dead in January 2004 in her house on Derech Metzada in Beersheba. Police arrived at the apartment after her son, who at the time lived in Tel Aviv, called police and told them that for the past two weeks he had been unable to contact his elderly mother.
Upon entering the apartment, police found Suto lying dead on the floor with a heavy wardrobe on top of her. Initial police investigations indicated that Suto's death was an accident, and that the closet fell on top of her while she was arranging clothes.
The truth might never have been known had the police not sent her body for a postmortem examination, in accordance with procedure in the case of all accidental deaths.
The forensic pathologist examining Suto discovered suspicious splinters in the woman's skull that did not match any of the evidence found where Suto's body was discovered. The forensic pathologist concluded that the trace evidence was not consistent with accidental death, and that an object that had since been removed from the scene must have left the splinters.
Police assigned the investigation to Dep.-Cmdr. Yosi Turgeman. At the time, Beersheba police were investigating a second murder that had occurred a week before the body was found.
In that case, Danny Ben-Simon, a man known to police for criminal activity, was found dead, and two days later, another known criminal, Weitzman Avraham, checked himself into Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center suffering from a serious stab wound to his leg.
Two days later, police arrested Avraham Levy, known as "Bermo" in the underworld, who had previously been investigated by police for drug-related offenses. Levy denied involvement in the Ben-Simon and Avraham cases, but police gathered strong evidence against him and he was indicted for murder and attempted murder. Both attacks, police said, were based on arguments in the course of drug deals.
Earlier in 2006, Levy was convicted of both charges and sentenced to one life sentence plus an additional 15 years.
Unbeknownst to police, Levy's arrest also afforded them a rare break in the Suto case. Among the objects discovered on Levy's person were several pieces of jewelry that police suspected were stolen.
Meanwhile, even in the early stages of the investigation into Suto's murder, police fingered Levy as a suspect because he was a known criminal living near the victim. Police began to formulate a scenario in which Suto was murdered in the course of a burglary. The theory gained strength after police talked with Suto's son and concluded that jewelry had been stolen from the house.
Police then decided to check the jewelry found on Levy's person by doing a jewelry "line-up" to see if Suto's son could identify it. Police said one of the items was an unusual ring that the son himself had given to his mother and immediately identified.
Following the line-up, police only had to find evidence to indicate that Levy had in fact stolen the ring himself and, in the course of the theft, murdered the elderly woman.
After a lengthy investigation, police succeeded in doing so, and on Sunday delivered the case to the district attorney. Police questioned Levy - who is currently serving his lengthy sentence for the previous two attacks - and he denied any involvement in the murder.
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