Authorities have identified the 50-year-old woman who was allegedly murdered in her Bat Yam apartment by her partner on Sunday night as Tatiana Haikin.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended Igor Chepikov’s remand by seven days.
Chepikov called police on Sunday to tell them he had murdered Haikin and that her body was in their Bat Yam home.
Magen David Adom paramedics who arrived at the home on Yoseftal Street in the central coastal city found the woman’s body and declared her dead at the scene.
Police said the suspect had called three times. They said he had sounded intoxicated and in the first two calls gave false addresses before finally directing officers to the correct apartment.
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Chepikov had previously served time in prison for domestic assault.
A friend of Tatiana Haikin told Channel 12 that the couple were both alcoholics and that Chepikov would often beat her.
“I was aware of the history of violence between them. He would also assault his previous partner,” she said, adding that the couple would spend all their money on vodka.
“I never saw them not drunk,” she said.
A neighbor told Channel 12 that he heard frequent shouting from the couple’s apartment. “He was very violent, he would drink a lot. The writing was on the wall,” he said.
The incident was the second case of domestic homicide within a week and came as welfare groups warned that lockdown measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak are causing an increase in domestic violence.
Hagit Pe’er, head of the Na’amat women’s organization, said in a statement that the murder of women was becoming “routine.”
She said the coronavirus crisis is “a health and economic pressure cooker that will further increase incidents of violence in the near future. It is likely we are already seeing this.”
Pe’er called on the government to immediately fund its NIS 250 million ($71 million) project to combat domestic violence that, she said, has been in “deep freeze” since 2017.
The death in Bat Yam brought to four the number of women killed in domestic homicide incidents since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in March.
Last week a man confessed to stabbing his wife to death in Holon. The suspect in that crime, Alaza Mandparo, had weeks earlier been released from prison after being sentenced for physically assaulting his wife a year earlier.
In Lod, a 45-year-old woman was shot dead by an intruder in front of her husband in their home last month. A police investigation led to the arrest of a family member. In March, a woman was killed in Rishon Lezion, with police assessing that her husband shot her and then tried to commit suicide.
Last Wednesday, the Welfare Ministry said that during the preceding two weeks, there were four times as many complaints about domestic violence as there were during the first month of lockdown, Haaretz reported.
During the 12 days from April 16 until last Monday, the national domestic violence helpline received 400 complaints, an average of more than 33 every day. During the month from March 15 until April 15 there were a total 244 complaints received, an average of eight complaints a day.
In response to the spike, the ministry opened a new method of contacting the helpline via text message, intended for those who are unable to speak privately, the newspaper reported.