Family of Israelis murdered in Argentina left 'shocked'
The brother of two Israeli women murdered in Argentina has said his nephew, arrested on suspicion of their gruesome deaths, was "not innocent."
At a press conference held on Monday morning, Moshe Pereg said that his nephew Gil Pereg "was not innocent. He lived like a homeless man and raised cats."
Pyrrhia Sarusi and Dr. Lily Pereg, who was a university lecturer in Australia, had gone to Argentina to visit Sarusi's son, Gilad - also know as Nicolas. They had been missing for two weeks before their bodies were discovered by authorities.
"Gilad had developed a mental disorder a few years ago," Pereg said. "He is also a real genius."
In a statement, the family added they were "shocked" and that "there will never be an explanation... We are humbled by the outpouring of support and love, worldwide."
Argentina's El Sol newspaper reported that the bodies of two Israeli sisters, who were initially reported missing on January 11, were found on Saturday.
This came less than a day after their son and nephew had been arrested for their murder. Bloodstains were found on a shirt in his rundown home, as well as bag of cement.
Pereg roused the suspicion of the Argentinian police when he refused to provide them with a DNA sample. He had a right to do so under the local legal system, yet it made the police officers suspect his motives.
The remains of Sarusi, 63, and Pereg, 54, were found in a shallow grave on the younger Pereg's property in the city of Mendoza, according to the local press. Autopsy results released on Sunday showed that at least one of the two had been shot.
It is alleged that police found four guns, as well as euros, dollars and pesos totaling $80,000, as well as dozens of cats and dogs. Some of the animals were allegedly found dead and dismembered in his backyard, as well as unburied.
The paper also reported that Pereg was maintaining his innocence, telling police that he had last saw his mother and aunt after he accompanied them to the bus station following their visit.
Los Andes quoted Pereg as saying "someone may have followed them from Israel to harm them, or it could be that someone who hates me here took revenge on me."
On Sunday, the local press said Gilad had threatened to kill himself on Sunday if he wasn't allowed to go home to look after his cats. Due to the threats, Gilad has been sent to a psychiatric hospital to undergo a psychological evaluation.