Rada suspect's shoeprint matches up

Gag order lifted on murder investigation; Zadorov's remand extended by 3 days.

tair rada 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
tair rada 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
A shoeprint and a strand of hair linking suspect Roman Zadorov to the murder of Katzrin teen Ta'ir Rada, were found on Rada's body, police announced on Monday. Police said that with the discovery of this new evidence, they had completed their investigation and that State Attorney Eran Shendar planned to file an indictment against Zadorov by Thursday, after receiving results from a DNA test being run on additional blood and hair samples at a laboratory in the United States. Police announced that they found a shoeprint identified as Zadorov's on Rada's pants as well as a hair near Rada's body which was determined in a DNA analysis abroad to be a 90 percent match to Zadorov's hair. Other "items of interest" had been discovered in a unspecified dumpster, police said, and were also being analyzed. The announcement came after Judge Ziad Salach of the Acre Magistrate's Court ruled in favor of the defense attorney's petition to lift a media gag order on the case, despite a police request to the contrary. Salach also ruled that Zadorov's remand be extended by three days, as requested by police. The judge said she approved the extension because investigators had presented enough evidence to incriminate Zadorov in the murder, citing footprints found on the child's clothing, clues revealed in a crime scene reconstruction, and organic samples found at the site. Zadorov, who was employed as a construction worker at Katzrin's Nofei Golan High School at the time of the killing, was arrested on December 14 for the murder of 13-year-old Rada, who was found stabbed in a bathroom at the school early last month. Zadorov, 29, has already had his remand extended five times as investigators sought conclusive proof tying him to the murder scene. One of the few adults known to be in the area at the time of the slaying, Zadorov initially denied any connection to the murder. Police placed a "talker" in Zadorov's detention cell, a police officer who acted as a prisoner and led the suspect into a discussion during which he allegedly admitted to the murder. Police investigators then secured an official confession from Zadorov who reenacted the murder for detectives. Zadorov told the officers he simply "lost his mind," and attacked the eighth-grader with a knife when she refused his request for a cigarette. However, initial DNA tests conducted on blood samples found in the bathroom were inconclusive, and Zadorov later recanted his admission of guilt. No murder weapon has been recovered and police have yet to establish a motive. Police suspect that Zadorov threw the weapon and his shirt into a trash can in the area that was emptied before detectives were able to search for clues. Zadorov, who immigrated from Russia eight years ago and lives with his wife and newborn baby in Katzrin, has no previous criminal record in Israel. Zadorov's attorney, David Spiegel, said on Monday that he remained convinced his client was innocent. Spiegel previously said police had neglected other leads in their rush to indite his client. "They never checked for a motive; they never found a knife, and they did not find any biological samples," he said. "The suspect himself begged them from the first day he was arrested to test his pants, and they didn't do this." "They missed other leads and they missed the chance to question other suspects. From the beginning it was clear that [Zadorov] was never at the murder scene and the bathroom in question," Spiegel said. Spiegel cross-examined two eyewitnesses during the hearing, one student who said he had heard a child's voice inside the cubicle next to where Ta'ir's body was later found, and the second who said he saw a blood stain on a mirror in the bathroom. Police said they had no evidence to support the rumor that a child was witnessed running from the scene of the crime, or that three suspicious teenagers were seen hitchhiking in the area, as reported by a private detective hired by the Rada family. Rada's mother has said she did not believe Zadorov murdered her daughter.