Police fear Rose's grandfather is lying about the body

Lawyer for the grandfather tells 'Post' her client is not a liar.

Ronnie Ron and rose 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Ronnie Ron and rose 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Ronnie Ron, who has confessed to killing his four-year-old granddaughter Rose Pizem, may be deceiving police about the whereabouts of her body, a police source said Thursday. A week of underwater searches have come up empty. Divers have been looking in the Yarkon River in north Tel Aviv, and on Thursday morning they spent hours in the Mediterranean near the river's mouth. Police said Ron's story of dumping a suitcase containing the girl's body into the Yarkon was credible, but they are distrustful of the suspect, who has given them several contradictory accounts of Rose's fate. One police source said Ron had an "unpredictable personality." In addition to lying to police, Ron reportedly told neighbors he served as an elite combat soldier, a claim the IDF has dismissed. Still, since his earlier inconsistent performances in the interrogation room, police said Ron had stuck to his account. Ron's lawyer Revital Swid told The Jerusalem Post her client is not a liar. "I think he had a very major internal struggle over his decision to confess," Swid said. "The police are taking out their frustration over not finding Rose's body, and the easy way out is to say he's a liar. The police also want to justify their view that Ron is guilty of murder." Ron's actions did not constitute premeditated murder, Swid said, adding that he had lashed out at Rose in a fit of uncontrolled rage. "On the first day, Ron gave problematic accounts, but this is very routine for suspects to do when first confronted by police. After two to three days, he recovered, and confessed," she said. Swid, who met with her client on Thursday, said Ron had experienced relief after his confession. He was having a difficult time recognizing himself in the way he was being portrayed in the media, she said. "He saw the monstrous image the media made of him. It is very far removed from his self-image." Rose's mother, Marie Pizem, was in a "very difficult state" after police told her for the first time on Wednesday that Ron had killed her daughter, Swid told the Post. "All of Israel knew, but they only told her yesterday. She says she wants to take little Rose in her arms and apologize to her that she was not a good enough mother, that she did not love her enough, and that she did not protect her." Police searches expanded Thursday to the Netanya coast, where Ron lived together with Marie Pizem. The efforts were joined by civilian volunteers and spread to the area just south of Netanya. Police temporarily halted scuba divers' efforts in the Yarkon as Dep.-Cmdr. Yoav Cotler considered how to go about drying up sections of the river underneath the Bavli Bridge, where Ron said he threw the suitcase, a process Cotler said would risk destroying any evidence lying on the riverbed. Earlier, the search in the sea adjacent to the Yarkon's mouth found nothing. Public Security Minister Avi Dichter had implored the divers to "bring us an answer." "The problem is not equipment and people, but the location of the child. The suspect himself said he hopes we succeed in finding her body," Dichter said.