Murder probe launched after Haifa woman found dead at home; husband arrested

Man reportedly admits to police that he killed his wife Darya Leitel, 31; couple’s children were apparently sleeping

Darya Leitel, allegedly murdered by her husband on March 17, 2023 (Courtesy)
Darya Leitel, allegedly murdered by her husband on March 17, 2023 (Courtesy)

Police launched a murder investigation Friday morning after a woman was found dead at her home in Haifa.

Paramedics called to the scene pronounced the death of the woman, 31, after finding her without signs of life. She was later identified as Darya Leitel, a mother of three.

Their arrival came after the woman’s husband, 35, called police to report that he had murdered his wife, according to Hebrew media sources.

He reportedly admitted to strangling her and then striking her with a hammer.

The couple’s children were apparently at home sleeping when the killing occurred.

The woman had previously complained of threats from her husband, for which he was currently being tried, according to reports, which said the couple had continued to live together.

She was the fifth female homicide victim in Israel since the start of the year.

Earlier this week, government ministers shelved a bill advanced by the previous coalition to introduce electronic tracking of domestic violence offenders, though it would not appear to apply in the Haifa killing as the case against the husband was ongoing.

According to figures released in November by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry, domestic violence in Israel is on the rise.

Numerous protests have been held in recent years over the authorities’ handling of domestic violence, particularly in cases where the victims were already known to be in abusive relationships.

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