Police in Paris are investigating a 27-year-old Arab man on suspicion that he murdered his neighbor Lucy Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish Haredi woman, following a quarrel in her apartment.
According to suspicions, the man, who is already known to the police, pushed her to her death from her apartment which was located on the third floor of the building.
Police arrested the suspect who lives on the second floor after Halimi’s body was discovered overnight Monday at around 4:30am in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in the building’s yard.
The man became a suspect when it emerged that he had entered his victim’s apartment before she fell. Neighbors also testified that they heard the suspect screaming that he wants to kill her just before the incident.
Once the man had been arrested, the Paris police department transferred him for psychiatric analysis.
The police are currently checking into a number of possible circumstances accounting for her death.
They include the possibility that the suspect engaged in a confrontation with her after which he pushed her to her death, or that he scared her so much that she fell.
Another scenario being considered is that he tried to rob her and that her resistance in the ensuing struggle precipitated her death.
Halimi lived in her apartment alone. One of her children lives in Israel while two other daughters live in France.
While her body has been sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the Jewish community has said that it is undertaking efforts to expedite its release for burial, and that the family is considering flying it to Israel where she may be laid to rest.
(Edited and translated by Alexander J. Apfel)