Eran Cohen 370 .
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
An argument over a glass of water was enough for a man to brutally murder an
elderly female acquaintance in a case that bedeviled Negev police for over a
month, until the chief suspect was arrested this week.
At the Negev
police sub-district station in Beersheba on Wednesday, Ch.-Insp. Eran Cohen of
the Negev Branch of the YAMAR investigative unit, said the investigation
involved living in the neighborhood “day in and day out for weeks, interviewing
dozens, if not hundreds of people” until a suspect was identified.
resident told detectives that 57-year-old Michael Sorkin had been seen a few
times walking the victim, 74- year-old Anna Katz, home from a mini-market in the
neighborhood. Sorkin had once worked for the woman’s daughter before he was
Cohen said that when Sorkin was brought in for questioning, he
told police that he had slit Katz’s throat after she threatened to call his wife
and tell her that he tried to rape her.
Police have not found evidence
that a rape was attempted or that the two had any sort of sexual relations in
the past, Cohen added.
Under questioning, Sorkin said he went to Katz’s
house on the day of the murder in early April, under the influence of alcohol,
and asked for a glass of water. When Katz refused, the two began arguing and –
according to Sorkin – things only escalated from there, Cohen said.
Katz’s body was found in her apartment that day, Negev police formed a special
task force and made the investigation a top priority because the crime involved
an act of violence against a senior citizen – at a time when the Israeli media
had run a series of articles on such cases.
Sorkin has no criminal record
and Cohen referred to him as “a normal family man.”
On Wednesday, Sorkin
was taken for a remand extension at the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court, where
police extended his remand by a week.