Police search for Rose's body south of Netanya

Officers on horseback, search dogs and border policemen comb highway for any item that could help point them in the right direction.

police search for rose 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
police search for rose 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Police on Sunday focused their search for the body of Rose Pizem, allegedly killed by her grandfather Ronnie Ron three months ago, on a stretch of Highway 2 beginning in Netanya and heading south. Officers on horseback, search dogs and border policemen combed the highway's surroundings for any item, such as a child's clothing, that could help point them in the right direction. Police temporarily abandoned underwater searches in the Yarkon River in north Tel Aviv after dead fish floating on the water sparked fears that it was unsafe for scuba divers. An examination found the water to be safe, and police said the divers soon return. In the meantime, police on land and on boats continued to search for the body on the Yarkon's banks. Ron told investigators he threw a suitcase containing Rose's body off the Bavli Bridge into the river three months ago. But police have grown increasingly distrustful of this account, choosing to shift the search to the area between Tel Aviv and Netanya, as well as Netanya itself, where Ron and his companion, Marie-Charlotte, had lived. Parks, shrubbery and fields between Tel Aviv and Netanya were scoured on Sunday to no avail. "Nothing has been found at this point," a police spokesman said. Meanwhile, Benjamin Pizem, Rose's French father, was interrogated by a French judge over the weekend and has been invited back for further interrogations, French legal sources have said. Under Benjamin Pizem's custody, Rose suffered severe physical abuse and spent seven months in a special care center for abused children. Upon learning of Benjamin Pizem's alleged treatment of their daughter, Marie-Charlotte sued in Israel to have her daughter sent to Israel. Marie-Charlotte's legal effort succeeded in 2006, when Rose arrived in Israel, only to fall into the abusive hands of Ronnie Ron, Benjamin's father and Marie-Charlotte's new companion. Revital Swid, a lawyer for both Ron and Marie-Charlotte, said last week that Rose's mother was in a "very difficult state" after being informed by police that Ron had killed her daughter. But police are investigating the possibility that Marie-Charlotte was aware of what had happened to her daughter, adding that she may even have been in the car when the killing took place, an allegation Swid denies.