Seven-year-old child murder victim was choked to death with bare hands, autopsy finds

Autopsy shows Kalnatrov

Kalnatarov memorial color 248.88 (photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
Kalnatarov memorial color 248.88
(photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
An autopsy on the body of seven-year-old Leon Kalnatarov revealed that the boy was strangled to death with bare hands, but was not sexually assaulted prior to his death, according to a medical expert sent by the defense to oversee the postmortem. A police spokesman, however, said that no final conclusions have yet been received from the coroners. The autopsy was carried out at the L. Greenberg Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir over the weekend. Kalnatarov's body was found covered in plastic sheets under the bed of twins Naor and Adi Sodmi, 24, in their home in the town of Bnei Ayish early on Friday, following hours of police searches. The twins, who had been reported to police for allegedly exposing themselves to children in recent weeks, were arrested shortly after the discovery of the body. "It's important to stress that the boy was not sexually attacked, according to the [expert's] report," Yaron Forer, an attorney representing the Sodmi twins, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday evening. "He was choked, but one can be choked in several ways. The report does not say how," he added. On Monday, Forer will ask the Kiryat Gat Magistrate's Court for permission to send his clients for tests, to determine whether they are mentally challenged and to check for signs of psychiatric disorders. The twin brothers dropped out of school when they were 16, and have failed to hold down any job since. The brothers often invited young children to their home, and approached children in playgrounds, at times exposing themselves, according to a police complaint filed against them by a resident of Bnei Ayish. Forer denied reports claiming that the twins' parents refused attempts by welfare authorities to examine their sons and include them in special needs programs. "The parents asked authorities for help. In February, the twins were scheduled to undergo a psychiatric examination," Forer said. "It is very difficult for the parents. They have left the town [for fear of reprisals]," he added. "They are deeply sorry for the suffering of the Kalnatarov family," Forer said. Earlier on Sunday, Kalnatarov was laid to rest in Ashdod. The boy's father, Arthur, and mother, Yana, wept as the body of their son was lowered into the ground together with some of toys his father had bought him for the new year. "How can such a young boy be eulogized?" asked Leon's teacher, Rahela Gorelnik, during the service. "Only last month we celebrated your birthday." Arthur Kalnatarov emigrated to Israel from Turkmenistan 16 years ago, while his wife, Yana, moved here 12 years ago from Uzbekistan. They have a two-year-old daughter, Olnesia.