A life insurance claim of a suspicious amount led police to arrest the close relative of a woman who died when she fell from the roof of her apartment building earlier this year, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported Wednesday.
Police said on Tuesday they had arrested a 61-year-old woman a day earlier on suspicion of involvement in the death of her close relative who fell from a Tel Aviv building where they lived.
The 65-year-old woman was found at the foot of her building on Pumbedita Street on April 26. Paramedics were unable to revive her and pronounced her dead at the scene.
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The victim’s body was autopsied; no suspicious evidence was uncovered. Police concluded that she had probably climbed onto the roof to check on her water heater when she tripped, causing her to fall to her death.
However, the suspect, who lived with the deceased, had made changes to the latter’s life insurance policies before and after her death, increasing the potential compensation before he filed a 6 million shekel compensation claim, Kan reported.
Suspecting these adjustments, the insurance company asked the police to reopen the investigation.
The suspect’s remand was extended by six days on Tuesday, which is considered a long period given her age and empty criminal record. There is no video of the incident and all evidence against the suspect is currently circumstantial, the outlet noted.
The suspect’s lawyer, Me Idan Pesach, said his client was an academic with a doctorate without a criminal past.
He added that the suspect and the victim were “very close” and that they took care of each other in the apartment where they lived.
“The suspect took care of all the deceased’s needs, medical and financial, so the very idea that she is in any way connected to her death is shocking and upsetting,” he told Kan.
Channel 12 reported on Tuesday that after opening the investigation, police began questioning residents of the building about the nature of the relationship between the victim and her close relative.