A life insurance claim for a suspicious amount led police to arrest the close relative of a woman who died falling from the roof of her apartment building earlier this year, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Wednesday.
Police said 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 failed to revive her and declared her dead at the scene.
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The victim’s body was autopsied; no suspicious evidence was uncovered. Police concluded she had likely climbed onto the roof to check 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 potential compensation, before filing a claim for compensation in the amount of 6 million shekels, Kan reported.
Suspicious of these adjustments, the insurance company asked the police to reopen the investigation.
The suspect’s pretrial detention was extended for 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 was looking after all of the deceased’s needs, medical and financial, so the very idea of her being connected in any way to her death is shocking and outrageous,” he told Kan.
Channel 12 reported 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.