For an hour and a half, Eidan Damirhan sat in his home, with the body of his girlfriend Ilona Denise lying next to him. He smoked constantly, not knowing what to do. Then he decided to cut up her body and throw the organs in different places across Tel Aviv.
"She attacked me first, I was afraid that you would not believe me," he told police investigators. "I cried when I cut her up."
After details of the investigation were cleared for publication on Wednesday, detectives
from the investigations unit continued to discover gory details regarding the murder that took place last weekend.
At this point, it is clear that the argument between Damirhan and his girlfriend focused on the issue of their apartment lease.
Damirhan at remand hearing (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
"We argued about money,” Damirhan said. “She picked up a knife and a hammer and tried to hit me first," he said in his interrogation. He said he managed to wrest the hammer away and tried to hit her back. "I wanted to give her a blow on the shoulder, but it hit her on the head, and she fell and died," he added.
The victim's dismembered head has yet to be found, so investigators cannot say for certain whether the version of the story told by the suspect is indeed the truth.
Damirhan walked investigators through what he did after he realized that his girlfriend was dead. "I sat and smoked two packs of cigarettes. I didn’t know what to do." After he recovered from his shock, the Turkish national
realized that he would need to get rid of Denise's body. He the moved the body to the bathroom and over the next hour, dismembered her.
"I do not know how this happened. I love her. I cried when I cut her," he claimed in the interrogation.
After dismembering the body, Damirhan understood that he had to get rid of its various parts. He left and returned to the house several times, hiding another organ on each trip out. As he told it, he threw the head into the trash near a market, the limbs in various trash cans around the neighborhood and the dissected torso he threw in a suitcase that had belonged to Denise.
Victim, suspect (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
This was to be the undoing of Eidan Damirhan. He did not notice that the suitcase had hidden pockets, and in one of them was a small piece of paper listing an address in Romanian.
Later on, investigators transferred this information to Interpol, in order to verify the identity of the victim.
After putting the remaining body part in the suitcase,
he left the house to dispose of it.
"I do not know why I left her here," Damirhan told the head of the special investigations team, Chief Inspector Sharon Malka, as he pointed to the stairs near the train station. "I do not know what made me leave her here."
At the Rodica beauty salon on Bracha Habas Street in Haifa, they knew Ilona Denise well. Until recently, and for years, she took care of an elderly woman who lived in a multi-story above the beauty salon. Every afternoon, the two would go for a walk, and every few weeks they would also go to get their hair done at the salon.
"I speak Romanian so we had a common language," said Simona Brauman, who works in salon. "She used to tell me about her daughter who stayed behind in Romania to study medicine. Her employer really loved her.”
Denise came to work in Israel to help her daughter pay for studies in Romania. "She was so proud of her," continued Brauman. "Some of the money is also invested in the family home. They have land where they were engaged in agriculture.”
Denise traveled to Romania once a year to see her family, but when her husband died about a year ago, she stayed in Israel. "She could not find a replacement to stay with the elderly woman she cared for," Brauman said. "After her husband died, we did not know that she had someone else. She most likely met this new partner that murdered her after she moved to Tel Aviv.”
According to her friends from the hair salon, when the name of the victim was published, they did not associate it with her. "At first they said the name incorrectly. It was only after they fixed the name and we saw the photograph that we understood. It was very hard and sad. She was such a nice woman.”
In the shared apartment where the couple lived in Tel Aviv, Damirhan used to come and stay only part of the week. Most of the time he lived in Kfar Qassem in a building where he and other Turkish workers stayed. "We were surprised to see so many police officers in our building and did not understand why they took him," a fellow Turkish laborer in Kfar Qassem told Ynet. "He is a Kurdish guy who moved here a few months ago, but there were days when he did not come here."
He said Damirhan did not look like a dangerous man. "We thought he was a good person. An incident like this can cause us harm and people will think we are all like that."
A political figure in Kfar Qassem said, "Several hundred Turks live in Kfar Qassem. They behave with respect and there is no conflict between them and the residents."
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