Nitzanim beach murder scene 248.88.
(photo credit: Channel 2 )
Nikolai Doroshov, the man suspected of murdering 15-year-old Leah Drenkin on Tuesday night, told a court that he killed the teenager, and apologized for the deed.
"I am sorry for what happened, I didn't mean it, if just happened," Doroshov told the Ashdod Magistrate's Court during a remand extension hearing on Thursday. "I pressed on her throat, and she lost her breath," he said.
He was remanded for a further 12 days in custody.
Drenkin's body was found on a beach next to Kibbutz Nitzanim on Wednesday, and Doroshov, a 26-year-old divorcee and father of an eight-year-old girl, was arrested on suspicion of strangling her to death.
Drenkin had been missing since overnight Tuesday when she was hanging out with friends in a parking lot, drinking alcohol and listening to music.
Doroshov, who was part of the group, allegedly left the scene with Drenkin at about 2 a.m.
When the girl's parents noticed on Wednesday morning that she had not returned home, they called police.
Police found Doroshov after tracking his cell phone signal, and he led detectives to the beach, where Drenkin's body was found on Wednesday night.
Police said that the two apparently got into an argument when Drenkin wouldn't let him touch her intimately, following which he allegedly strangled her to death.
Drenkin's friend, Anita Sorin, maintained that Doroshov had not committed the murder.
Speaking to Army Radio, Sorin said that she was with the suspect in his car and that he had offered to drive Drenkin home. According to Sorin, Leah refused since she was drunk.
"We stopped at the sports complex parking lot," she said. "A few people were drinking there. Leah fell asleep in his [Doroshov's] car and he offered to drive her home, together with me and another friend. There is no way he is the murderer."
Meanwhile, pupils and staff and Drenkin's ORT Afridar High School were deeply shocked by her murder, and the school principal said that teachers had begun to conduct sessions with the students to help them deal with the 15-year-old's death.
Police pointed an accusing finger at kiosks selling alcohol, and Army Radio quoted senior police officers as saying that alcohol was "one of the main causes of the recent wave of violence among youngsters."
Following the Drenkin's murder, President Shimon Peres on Thursday called on Israeli youngsters to abstain from alcohol.
Speaking to children at the Kfar Hayarok School in central Israel, Peres said drinking alcohol "endangers people and only leads to complications and loss. I urge you to make a commitment in your hearts not to drink any more."
"Drinking too much can lead to a lifetime of difficulties," the president said. "It doesn't give you anything, but just puts you and your friends in danger. You, the youngsters, are the most precious thing for the country. Please, look after yourselves."
The National Council for the Child (NCC), however, issued on Thursday afternoon a statement titled "Don't blame the victim," in which it quoted the NCC's director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman protesting the "various comments" made on Drenkin's attire and the public outcry against youth alcohol consumption.
"No rape victim, no matter what she wore, is guilty of her rape. No youth is guilty of their murder, even if they drank alcohol," Kadman was quoted as saying.