A Haifa man suspected of raping and killing four women proclaimed his innocence during a court hearing Monday, as he was ordered to be kept behind bars for several more days.
“I did not do it,” Fydor Beijanri insisted at Haifa’s Magistrate’s Court, his first bench appearance since his arrest in early March.
“I miss my family and children,” he added.
The judge ordered Beijanri, who has not been charged with a crime, to remain in custody until Thursday.
Beijanri was arrested over 50 days ago. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has granted police special permission to keep him jailed without an indictment.
Police had kept the case under court-imposed gag order until last week, when investigators released Beijanri’s name for publication and urged the public to come forward with any information relevant to the investigation. However, Channel 2 reported on Sunday that no one has stepped forward with additional information, and police were struggling to build a case against him for an indictment.
Investigators suspect Beijanri, 26, who immigrated to Israel from Moldova several years ago after marrying a local woman, raped and murdered four women over the last several years, and is responsible for numerous incidents of arson.
According to a reports Monday, police believe the murders took place throughout the country from 2013 to 2015. In one of the incidents, police suspect Beijanri raped one of his victims after he had already murdered her.
Beijanri has said he knew three of the four women, but denied the rape and murder allegations.
Though Beijanri’s cell phone and his DNA were discovered in at least two of the crime scenes, investigators are having difficulty obtaining definitive evidence he was at the scene of each of the murders. Police reportedly said Beijanri has confessed in another, according to Haaretz.
The public defender representing Beijanri said he “has never admitted to anything and that this entire case has hit him like a ton of bricks,” according to Haaretz.