The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Sunday remanded in custody the suspect in the murder of 17-year-old girl Lital Yael Melnik, whose body was discovered Saturday at a construction site in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin.
The suspect will remain in custody for another eight days, the court ruled.
The 49-year-old man, who was arrested Saturday night, works at a psychiatric hospital. According to Kan news, he had in the past treated Melnik, who had a history of mental illness.
Melnik was studying at a boarding school in the country’s south. She was reported missing by her grandmother on Friday after she failed to arrive at her house as planned.
The grandmother told police that Melnik had some form of relationship with an older man. According to Kan, Melnik had told others at the boarding school that she was having a romantic relationship with the suspect.
In the past, the grandmother had a restraining order issued against the suspect to keep him away from her granddaughter, according to the Haaretz daily.
Reports in Hebrew media indicated that a security guard called police on Saturday saying he’d seen a man and a young woman arrive together at a construction site near his workplace but that the man later left alone. The guard found the incident suspicious.
Police, arriving at the scene, found the girl’s body half-buried in a freshly dug grave.
Having verified the identity of the older man Melnik had ties to, police staked out his home and arrested him when he arrived.