FRANCE – The service lasted nearly an hour in the French town of Montesso on Monday evening, under somber skies. Four-year-old Rose Pizem was finally laid to rest after her remains were found by police divers in the Yarkon River some three months after she was apparently bludgeoned to death by her paternal grandfather.
The Christian ceremony included emotional statements by her father, Benjamin, grandmother Betty, and other relatives.
"I would give everything to have just been with her for one more minute," Benjamin wrote of his daughter in a passage read by a family member on behalf of the distraught father.
Music played in the background and a cold wind knocked down Rose’s picture three times. The third time, the frame cracked.
Dozens attended the funeral, including representatives from the Israeli embassy, the Israeli police, the local Jewish community and the Jewish Agency.
Rose's coffin in France (Photo: AFP)
The funeral took place just hours after her mother and grandfather were indicted.
Earlier on Monday, the State Prosecutor's Office filed murder charges against Marie-Charlotte Renault and Ronny Ron for the murder of Renault's daughter, four-year-old Rose Pizem. The charges were files with the Ramla Magistrate's Court.
Rose went missing in May. Her body was found in Tel Aviv's Yarkon River some 10 days ago, after an extensive police canvas.
The decision to indict the two, made just house before Rose's funeral – which will be held in Paris at her father's request – was made despite early statements made by the prosecution, which indicated the State was not sure if it could prove Renault's involvement in the child's murder.
Despite the grave charges against Ron and Renault, the indictment did not mention the manner in which Rose was murdered, or when; nor did it say exactly what was the defendants' respective parts in the crime.
"The defendants, both or one of them, placed Rose in the suitcase, after her death or shortly beforehand," said the indictment. "Ron then took the case holding the child's body and dumped it in the Yarkon River. The defendants' deliberate actions caused the child's death."
The State also filed a motion to have the two remanded to custody until the end of October. The State may then ask the court to remand them again, this time for the duration of the proceedings.
Earlier in the police investigation, Ron confessed to killing the four-year-old and dumping her body in the Yarkon River. Following the confession, the police launched an extensive search of the Yarkon and the Tel Aviv and Netanya shorelines, using ground troops and diving units which dragged the Yarkon riverbed for days.
Ron later recanted his confession, but police divers eventually recovered Rose's remains from the Yarkon's waters. She was found some 400 yards from where Ron said he disposed of the body.
Lior Zilberstein contributed to the report from France