Police and prosecutors revealed Tuesday that one DNA test that sought to link suspect Roman Zadarov to the murder of Katzrin teenager Ta'ir Rada returned from an American laboratory with negative results. But, prosecutors added, despite the disappointing findings, they had enough evidence to support their indictment of Zadarov on murder charges.
Over a month ago, police sent evidence to a US laboratory after DNA tests carried out in Israel Police's forensics labs proved inconclusive. The results were returned this week, police said, but the hairs recovered from the murdered eighth-grader's vest did not belong to Zadarov.
Nevertheless, police indicted Zadarov, a 29-year-old immigrant who was working in the Nofei Golan school as a construction worker when Rada was brutally murdered in the school's bathroom.
According to the indictment filed last month in the Nazareth District Court, police say Zadarov - a Russian immigrant and father with no previous criminal record - cornered Rada in the bathroom stall and then slit her throat and cut other parts of her body with a utility knife before stepping on the body as he fled the scene.
Police have yet to find the murder weapon or establish a motive for the killing. Nevertheless, a footprint on the teen's pants allegedly matched those of shoes worn by Zadarov on the day of the murder.
Although investigators originally cited a possible DNA match for the hair as an important piece of physical evidence supporting the indictment, prosecutors said Tuesday that the indictment could still stand without the DNA evidence.
Zadarov initially admitted to the murder and even reenacted it in front of detectives, but recanted his confession less than a day later, claiming that police had intimidated him into confessing. Still, the original confession remains part of the case that the prosecution has built against Zadarov.
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