Kutiba Atian, a 21-year old Arab from Jericho, was indicted Thursday on charges of murder, attempting to destroy evidence, and illegal entry into Israel for the April murder of 24-year-old Polish tourist Daria Magdalena Rozmeark.
The victim was in Israel together with her father and a group of Christian pilgrims. On the day of the murder, the group had left its Nazareth hotel for a trip to the Sea of Galilee. Rozmeark felt ill, and decided to remain behind.
In the afternoon, she left the hotel to take a walk around the town. The defendant spotted her as she was passing the construction site where he worked.
For reasons that are unclear, she entered the site and began talking with Atian, but he did not understand her, and began gesturing in order to communicate with her.
At one point in the conversation, Atian held the victim's hand and tried to kiss her. Shocked, she reeled back and ran from the site, but he pursued her. He caught up with her, and holding her by the throat, began choking her.
Under questioning, Atian admitted choking her to unconsciousness, as he feared she would report his attempted rape to the authorities.
Although it was unclear to him if she were alive or dead, he dragged her body into a forested area, and covered her with an object he found at the scene.
Initially, Atian did not tell anyone about the incident. Several days after killing the victim, Atian told his father and uncle – who were also in Israel illegally – that he had “found” a body in the forest.
The three decided against revisiting the scene, and decided to head back to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas. On the way, they called police to report the body's location.
A police source said authorities conducted a thorough investigation, questioning a number of building contractors in the area in order to locate the suspect.
Upon finding the body, officers informed the father, who “took the news very hard, to the point where he needed medical attention. We were able to ascertain the whereabouts of the three individuals, and eventually gathered the evidence as to the suspect's actions.”