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Psychiatric hospital nurse charged with murdering 17-year-old ex-patient

Edward Kachura tricked Lital Yael Melnik into conducting ‘rebirth’ therapy where she dug her own grave, but he pulled her tube so she couldn’t breath, indictment says

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)

A nurse at a psychiatric hospital was indicted on Monday for murdering a 17-year-old ex-patient at the facility after he allegedly had an illicit sexual relationship with her.

The indictment against 49-year-old Edward Kachura was filed by prosecutors at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court, as family members of the alleged victim, Lital Yael Melnik, looked on. It described the “particular cruelty” of the suspect’s actions, noting that he “took advantage of a relationship of dependence.”

Kachura was involved in Melnik’s treatment when she was hospitalized at the facility where he worked, the indictment said. Despite Melnik’s fragile psychological state, Kachura expressed that he had developed feelings toward her.

Shortly after her release and after Melnik developed a dependence on Kachura, they began a relationship that lasted roughly six months. During this time, the teen would disappear from her home or boarding school for hours at a time to visit Kachura. As a result, the victim’s grandmother filed for a restraining order to be placed against Kachura. Nonetheless, the suspect continued to meet with the girl, according to the charge sheet.

On October 1, Melnik left her boarding school to visit Kachura and the two had sex, the indictment said. After the victim’s grandmother reached out to police to notify them Melnik was missing, officers arrived at the suspect’s home. Kachura refused to answer the door, and the officers left.

It was at this point that Kachura decided to murder Melnik, the indictment said. Police believe Kachura was spooked upon learning that Melnik had disclosed their relationship to a close friend.

Lital Yael Melnik. (Facebook)

The two would go on to discuss Melnik’s psychological state, and Kachura recommended that they perform a sort of “rebirth” therapy where she would be buried alive but given a tube so that she could still breathe.

Melnik agreed and the two drove to a construction site, where they dug a grave for the victim and she got inside with the tube. But after covering her with dirt, Kachura removed the tube, causing her death, the indictment alleged.

At Monday’s hearing, the court agreed to the police’s request to keep Kachura behind bars for at least three more weeks as proceedings against him continue, noting that he poses a danger to society.

Speaking to reporters outside of the hearing, Melnik’s sister Ruth said, “It turns out that what I thought was really what happened. He prevented my sister from getting out of this hole. He planned everything ahead of time. I’m disgusted, I’m shocked every time I look at him. He does not blink an eye and does not regret it for a moment.”

Police reportedly believe Kachura and Melnik had sexual relations even while the teen was staying at the psychiatric care center.

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

The Health Ministry has reportedly decided to open an external investigation into the conduct of the psychiatric facility that will begin after the conclusion of the criminal probe into the murder.

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