Body of Israeli found in Berlin hotel, but authorities took days to tell family

Yaniv Avraham’s father criticizes German authorities for waiting to confirm his death; local police investigating circumstances

36-year-old Yaniv Avraham who was found dead in a Berlin hotel room in April 2019. (Facebook)
36-year-old Yaniv Avraham who was found dead in a Berlin hotel room in April 2019. (Facebook)

An Israeli man who went missing in Germany last week was found dead in his hotel Berlin room shortly after his disappearance, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.

Berlin police have opened an investigation into the death of 36-year-old Yaniv Avraham, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

The Foreign Ministry and Israel’s consul in Berlin are assisting in returning Avraham’s body to Israel for burial.

The circumstances surrounding Avraham’s death were not clear, and his family has criticized German authorities for taking several days to inform them of their son’s death.

Avraham was last heard from last Wednesday after landing in Berlin. He told his parents that he had arrived in Germany and checked into his hotel, and his family said that according to data from Google, he was at a train station in the city the following morning at 6:15 a.m. From there, he disappeared without a trace.

On Sunday he was scheduled to travel to London, but Avraham never got on the plane. His family told Hebrew-language news sites that he normally calls once a day when he’s abroad.

After days with no contact, Avraham’s family contacted Israeli diplomatic missions and local police forces in Western Europe and asked that they look for him. The family also widely circulated missing posters for Avraham on social media in Israel and Germany.

מעדכנת כאן עבור כל מי שהתעניין… הלווייתו של יניב תתקיים מחר (יום ראשון 28.4) בשעה 14:00 בבית העלמין דרך חיים בגבעת…

Posted by Sarit Mor on Sunday, April 21, 2019

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said it was informed of Avraham’s death. According to reports, Berlin police discovered Avraham’s body on Thursday, but waited four days before telling the Israeli embassy.

“Finding out that they already found his body on Thursday but didn’t inform the family or the consulate that they have the body of our beloved Yaniv until today,” his father, Herzl Avraham told the Walla news site.

“We were in agony the entire [Passover] holiday, we were looking for him nonstop,” he said. “Something about this tragedy is not clear, we are only being fed these half reports and are not getting any official information.”

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