The ex-husband of Ofira Chaim, whose body was found Tuesday, nearly three weeks after she was reported missing, has been named as the central suspect in the investigation into her murder.
A female relative has been released to house arrest in the case.
David Chaim and the unnamed relative appeared at Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where their remand was extended.
Reports said police suspect the murder may have been motivated by a financial dispute.
Police had originally issued a gag order preventing publication of identifying details of the suspects, but the court ruled that David Chaim’s identity could be made public.
A police investigator told the court that the ex-husband “became a suspect before the body was found, following a covert investigation,” the Ynet news site reports.
David Chaim was convicted in 2005 for menacing behavior toward Ofira after threatening to “break the bones” of one of her friends, as well as blocking her car and telling her that “something will happen” to her if she left, according to the Walla news site.
In 2002 he was convicted of assault and threatening behavior toward her and handed a seven-month suspended sentence as well as a fine of NIS 2,000 (approximately $550).
Ofira Chaim, 56, a mother of three daughters, worked as a substitute teacher in a local school. Until recently she owned a cafe, and reportedly there was a dispute over the division of profits made from the sale of the establishment.
She had told her daughters that she was going to an event in the coastal city of Netanya and would only return early the following morning. Subsequently there was no trace of her and her car was left parked next to her home.
Police discovered her body buried under a tree in the backyard of her home in the central Israel town of Tel Mond.
One daughter, Adiya, who was in India at the time of her mother’s disappearance, added that her mother was not in any kind of trouble and did not owe anyone money.
Due to the condition of the body, it was sent for identification at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, police said.
“To the extent that it can be confirmed that it is the body of Ofira Chaim, this is a murder investigation,” police said Tuesday.