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Body of 17-year-old girl found buried at Haifa construction site

Police arrest suspect, 49, who was apparently in relationship with the teen; she was reported missing Friday, and the two were seen arriving together at the site, but only he left

Police at the scene of a suspected murder of a 17-year-old girl in Kiryat Motzkin, on October 2, 2021. (Israel Police)
Police at the scene of a suspected murder of a 17-year-old girl in Kiryat Motzkin, on October 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

The body of a 17-year-old girl was found buried at a construction site in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin on Saturday. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her.

The victim was Lital Yael Melnik, who had a history of mental health difficulties. The suspect is a 49-year-old man who works at a psychiatric hospital. According to Kan news, he had treated Melnik in the past.

Melnik was studying at a boarding school in the country’s south. She was reported missing by her grandmother on Friday after she failed to arrive at her house as planned.

The grandmother told police that her granddaughter had some form of relationship with an older man. According to Kan Melnik had told others at the boarding school that she had a romantic relationship with the suspect.

Haaretz reported that the grandmother had in the past had a restraining order issued against the suspect to keep him away from her granddaughter.

Reports in Hebrew media indicated that a security guard called police on Saturday saying he’d seen a man and a young woman arrive together at a construction site near his workplace but that the man later left alone. The guard found the incident suspicious.

Police, arriving at the scene, found the girl’s body half-buried in a freshly-dug grave.

Police at the scene of a suspected murder of a 17-year-old girl in Kiryat Motzkin, on October 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

Having verified the identity of the older man Melnik had ties to, police then staked out his home and arrested him when he arrived.

He was taken in for questioning.

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