Police in Argentina have charged an Israeli man in the murder of his mother and her sister earlier this month, according to Argentine media.
Gil Pereg, 36, was arrested Friday after bloodstains were found on a shirt and bag of cement in his apartment in Mendoza, in the northwest of the country. Officers also reportedly found four guns, as well as euros, dollars, and pesos totaling $80,000, and dozens of cats and dogs.
Pyrhia Sarusi, 63, and her sister Dr. Lily Pereg, 54, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of New England in Australia, were last seen on January 12 in Mendoza.
Prosecutor Claudia Rios told reporters that after his arrest, Gil Pereg said that if he were not permitted to go home and feed his cats, “you will find another body,” the Mendoza Post reported.
"Si usted a mí no me deja ir a mi casa, a asistir a sus gatos, darle los medicamentos, va a encontrar otro cuerpo"
The outlet reported that Gil Pereg was sent for psychological evaluation due to concerns he may attempt to harm himself, and has been transferred to the Boulogne Sur Mer prison.
Police have reportedly examined security camera footage from a nearby cemetery, where they believe he may have buried the two women.
The women last communicated with families in Israel and Australia at 2:30 a.m. on Friday, January 11.
The next day they visited Sarusi’s son, the suspect, who is the local chairman of five companies established by her.
Hadashot TV news, citing Argentine media, reported that Gil Pereg was in a precarious financial situation.
He told investigators he saw the pair get on a public bus in the hours prior to their suspected disappearance, to return to the downtown area of the city of Mendoza, where they were staying in a rented apartment.
Israel Police investigators were scheduled to arrive in Mendoza to help in the investigation.
On Monday, the younger Pereg spoke to reporters outside his home and asked for help in the search for his mother and aunt, the Argentine news website MDZ reported.
“I have no idea what happened, I am not a fortune-teller,” Pereg told reporters, adding that there were many criminals on the loose in Mendoza.
JTA contributed to this report.