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Man charged with alleged murder of sister in nearly 20-year-old cold case

By Rana Husseini - Jun 17,2021 - Last updated at Jun 17,2021

AMMAN — The Criminal Court prosecutor on Wednesday charged a 62-year-old man in connection with the alleged murder of his divorced sister almost 20 years ago in Zarqa, official sources said.

The victim, a mother of three children, went missing almost 20 years ago but her family did not report her disappearance to the police, Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said.

“We received information recently that a woman, who disappeared almost 20 years ago, might have been murdered,” Sartawi told The Jordan Times.

The police official added that a cold case team was immediately formed and was tasked to follow up on the incident and the circumstances leading to the woman’s disappearance.

Investigators checked missing persons’ records but could not find any report that was filed by the woman’s family, the police official added.

“Investigators headed to the victim’s brother and at first he claimed that she escaped from her family’s home and that they do not have any information about her,” Sartawi added.

He added that investigators became suspicious about the story of the brother due to the inconsistencies and the evidence against him.

“Upon confronting him with the evidence, the suspect claimed that he found his sister dead at home and that she beat herself with a brick,” Sartawi said.

The brother claimed that he burnt his sister’s body and threw the remains in the Zarqa stream, according to Sartawi.

A senior judicial source, who is close to the investigation, told The Jordan Times that the case was exposed when the “son of the suspect overheard his father talking about murdering his sister almost 20 years ago”.

“The son had a heated argument with his father recently and decided to inform the victim’s siblings of what he had heard and they alerted the authorities,” the senior judicial source said.

In his initial testimony to investigators, the defendant’s son said “that he heard his father saying that he strangled and killed his divorced sister 20 years ago following an argument because she would often leave the family’s house without his permission,” according to the senior judicial source.

The suspect is currently being questioned by Criminal Court Prosecutor Muwafaq Obeidat, the senior judicial source said.

“The suspect is still denying that he murdered his sister and claims that she killed herself with a brick, but investigators have solid evidence against him,” the senior judicial source added.

Obeidat, who is handling the case, ordered that the suspect remain detained at a correctional and rehabilitation centre for 15 days pending further investigation.

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