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DNA Test Nabs Culprit in 2005 Ashdod Murder

The 2005 murder of Rinat Ruas was solved last week, thanks to DNA testing. The culprit: A 30 year old resident of a Galilee Arab village.
By Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 6/30/2014, 1:43 PM

Israeli medical researcher (illustrative)
Israeli medical researcher (illustrative)
Flash 90

A nearly-ten year old mystery was solved last week when police arrested 30-year-old Bilal Sachar, a resident of the Arab village of Bu'eine Nujeidat in northern Israel, for the murder of Rinat Ruas.

20-year-old Ruas was killed in May 2005 on her way to her parents' Ashdod home as she returned from work. She was reported missing and was found dead days later, with signs of violence on her body.

Police opened an investigation but could not find any leads, and eventually marked the murder a "cold case." However, several weeks ago, police said, new evidence surfaced in the case, leading police to Sachar, who was arrested last week at his place of work in Kiryat Malachi. Police are to request an extension of his remand Monday.

Police did not release details regarding the new evidence, but did say that it was Sachar's DNA that led police to him. While DNA tests were available in 2005, they were much more expensive and less accurate than current tests. The tests, police said, established beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was Sachar who abused and then murdered Ruas.

Lachish District Police Commander Eli Kazri, whose department has been in charge of the investigation since Ruas' murder, said that Sachar's arrest was "the closure that we have all been looking for."

"Just as we did not give up on this case and eventually found the culprit, we will not rest until all other murder cases are solved. This is an important aspect of our commitment to ensure that criminals think twice before committing crimes, and that Israelis feel safe in our cities."