Suspect's mother tells court Ron neglected his granddaughter in period preceding alleged murder.
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Testimony in the murder trial of Ronnie Ron and Marie-Charlotte Pizem continued on Sunday in the Tel Aviv District Court, with Ron's mother, Vivian Yaakov, taking the stand against her son and Pizem.
The testimony described a harrowing picture of the short life of Rose Pizem, the four-year-old girl whose body was found in Tel Aviv's Yarkon River on September 11, 2008.
"Marie didn't take an interest in her at all," Yaakov told of Rose's mother's attitude during the period when the girl was staying at her great-grandmother's house. "Ronnie called once or twice a week, and if I wanted him to take her, he took her. For the period of two months, he took her six times."
"She was a regular girl, she began to eat like my other granddaughters, slowly," she continued, referring to her great-grandchild. "I spoke with her a lot in French, so that she wouldn't forget the language."
Yaakov said that the girl was sad and felt unloved.
"She would tell me, 'Mommy doesn't love me. Mommy plays with my two sisters, but she doesn't hug or kiss me,'" the grandmother told the court.
She described how one time, after she returned the girl to her mother and Ron, she came back two days later to take Rose to the circus.
"I wanted to take all my grandchildren, and Marie began to scream, 'What are you doing here? You have nothing to look for here!' She was screaming really loudly, hysterically. She started cursing me, and I told her that she wasn't normal," Yaakov said.
"When we left the circus, I noticed that I had missed four calls from Ronnie, and I decided not to call back because I knew he would just tell me that I was interfering. He didn't call anymore, and he didn't answer my calls. He cut me off," she recalled, and said that "after May 12, I never saw her again."
Initially she did not suspect that anything was wrong, and assumed that even though her son was mad at her, he would call if there was a problem. However, after not hearing a word from Ronnie Ron for some time, she began to worry about her great-granddaughter.
She told the court how she went to Netanya and met with some people, and started to suspect Rose had been placed in an orphanage or another institution. When she remembered that Ronnie Ron had contacted her previously about retrieving passport photos for Rose, she started to suspect that maybe the girl had been sent abroad.
"I thought about calling people overseas to ask if Rose was there," Yaakov said. "I went to the Welfare Ministry, and explained that Rose was gone, and that they should look for her.
"I walked around their house, I thought maybe they went on a day trip, I thought maybe I'd see them walking around somewhere, but nothing. When I was in their building one time, I asked one of the people there if they'd seen Rose, and she said that she'd only seen the two little girls. This was long after May," she told.
Yaakov expressed deep sorrow for what happened, and told the court how much she regretted not having done more for the slain girl.
"It's hard for me, I have great remorse. Half my family has gone," she said, adding that if she could have, she would have "bought Rose everything."
"He [Ronnie Ron] never asked for help or advice, he didn't come over to talk or anything," Yaakov said.
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