Family: Teen was killed by 'someone supposed to protect her'

Prosecutors to charge nurse with murder in death of 17-year-old Lital Yael Melnik

Edward Kachura, accused of killing patient with whom he had a relationship, will face life sentence if convicted; investigators believe teen was buried alive

Edward Kachura, suspect in the murder of Lital Melnik, appears at a court hearing in Haifa on November 29, 2021. (Flash90)
Edward Kachura, suspect in the murder of Lital Melnik, appears at a court hearing in Haifa on November 29, 2021. (Flash90)

Edward Kachura, 49, will be charged with murder over the killing of 17-year-old Lital Yael Melnik last month, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Kachura, who was employed as a nurse in the psychiatric facility where Melnik was hospitalized, will be charged on Thursday at Haifa Magistrate’s Court with murder under aggravated circumstances, a severe charge that carries a mandatory life sentence.

Prosecutors said that the decision was made “upon completion of the investigation and after carefully studying the evidence in the case.” The state prosecutor is also expected to request that Kachura remain in custody for the entire court proceedings.

Melnik’s family members welcomed news of the indictment.

“Today, two months after the death of Lital Yael, the decision of the prosecutor is a first and important step toward prosecuting the suspect and gaining justice for Lital,” the family said in a statement. Her “life was cut short at age 17 by the cruel actions of someone who was supposed to protect her.”

“We will not rest and we will continue our battle until we are sure that her murderer will remain in jail until the end of his life,” the family added.

Family members of Lital Melnik outside the Haifa Magistrate’s Court after a hearing on November 29, 2021. (Alon Nadav/Flash90)

Earlier this week, the court extended Kachura’s remand into custody, reversing a lower court’s decision to release him to house arrest.

Upon hearing the Haifa Magistrate’s Court decision to release Kachura, Melnik’s sister Ruth yelled at Judge Tal Tadmor: “Are you normal? I beg you, do not release him. He is a mentally ill killer, he murdered my sister.” Melnik’s grandmother fainted in the courtroom.

Kachura was reportedly involved in Melnik’s treatment and then engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with her. Investigators suspect that Melnik, whose body was discovered at a construction site in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin, was buried alive.

Kachura had previously claimed that Melnik asked him to bury her as part of her treatment, citing some kind of “rebirth” therapy. Police reportedly believe Kachura and Melnik had a sexual relationship while the teen was at the psychiatric care center.

Lital Yael Melnik. (Facebook)

Six girls hospitalized alongside Melnik told the Walla news site that Kachura had a “special relationship” with a number of girls at the facility.

Police believe that Kachura murdered the teen on October 2, after discovering that Melnik had disclosed their relationship to a close friend.

Melnik’s body was discovered after a security guard called police, saying that he had seen a man and a young woman arriving together at a construction site near his workplace, with the man later leaving alone. Police, arriving at the scene, found the girl’s body half-buried in a freshly dug grave.

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