Searching for Rose: Hot line waits for a clue

Hundreds of investigators are combing the country in pursuit of possible leads.

little rose 248.88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
little rose 248.88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
Two weeks into the search for a missing girl, police said Monday that they had received no new information despite having opened a public hot line the day before. Police had opened their investigation to the public because of growing concern that Rose's life was threatened. They have appealed for any tips on the four-and-a-half-year-old's whereabouts. She was last seen in her Netanya home in May. Hundreds of investigators are combing the country in pursuit of possible leads. Still others remain by the telephones in the hope that a caller will yield any detail that will help resolve the case. The spokeswoman for the hot line said the response so far had been overwhelmingly positive. "Yesterday, when we opened to the public, we already received dozens of calls from all over Israel from people who are concerned about the case, and wanted to volunteer their help. Every phone call that we receive information about Rose, we take seriously and follow the tip," she said. Several of the people who called the hot line on its first day were said to be psychics offering their help in the search for Rose. The hot line - (08) 927-9466 or (08) 927-9575 - runs around the clock and is operated by 10 officers who have been recruited from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Central Unit. Their training includes courses on information gathering, detective work, and basic law enforcement. All other cases in the Central District have been dropped to focus on Rose, whose case has been determined to be of top priority. One of the young female officers assigned to the hot line discussed the difficulty of her role. "We are very sad about this situation," she said. "But we are trying to do everything that we can. We are asking for help from anybody who can offer us any information that will help us find Rose." A court-issued gag order is preventing the police, family attorney, friends, detectives, and journalists from disclosing any further details surrounding the case and about the search's progress. No one outside the building in which Rose lived was ready to talk to reporters on Monday, saying they had been told not to disclose any information. "I don't know anything and you don't either," one neighbor told another on the interphone. "Soon, everybody will know and wish they had never learned." A Netanya resident named Yael whose son played with Rose, called the case "shocking." "[Rose] used to come to play with my son, and she was always very quiet," Yael told Channel 2. "It seemed to me unusual that she never spoke, but I thought it wasn't my business." Rose is described as thin and 80 cm. tall, with blue eyes and dirty blonde hair. Neighbors have differing observations of her personality. Some refer to her as sickly in appearance, with poorly developed language skills and a grim expression. They are disturbed by the thought of Rose suffering any harm since disappearing three months ago. "We hope to solve this mystery, but in the meantime, time is passing," a police source said.