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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Murder-suicide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 2, 1997
Date of birth: 1965
Victim profile: Fashion model Anat Elimelech, 23 (his exgirlfriend)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day

Court: Anat Elimelech was the victim in 1997 murder-suicide

Former boyfriend David Afuta killed model, then shot himself; his brother tampered with evidence; Afuta heirs to compensate family

By Ron Friedman -

Thirteen years after their deaths shocked the country, the Jerusalem Family Court determined on Tuesday that it was David Afuta who shot his exgirlfriend, fashion model Anat Elimelech, and then committed suicide, and that Afuta’s brother had tampered with the evidence to make it look like the opposite had occurred.

Judge Menachem Hacohen ruled that Afuta’s heirs owed Elimelech’s family compensation, for their loss and subsequent expenses, but the exact amount of compensation has yet to be determined.

Elimelech’s family in 2005 sued Afuta’s estate for NIS 9.25 million.

The affair began December 2, 1997, when the two were found dead in their Jerusalem apartment. Police found Afuta, 32, on the living room floor with two bullet wounds in his chest. Elimelech, 23, also had a gunshot wound in her chest, and the gun was found close to her body.

Early on the police suspected that Elimelech was the one who had done the shooting, but three weeks into the investigation, they determined that Afuta was the gunman and that someone else had moved the murder weapon.

The judge ruled that shooting-trajectory analyses, and forensic and fingerprint tests confirmed that Afuta fired all three shots – one to Elimelech’s chest, which killed her, one that caused a nonlethal wound to his shoulder, and then the fatal shot to his chest.

The motive for the shooting was determined to be anger and depression at being dumped by Elimelech two months prior to the incident.

An investigation into the identity of the person who tampered with the crime scene, removing the gun from Afuta’s hand, wiping it off to remove fingerprints and placing it next to Elimelech, was closed in 1999, despite the fact that police claimed they had solid evidence implicating Afuta’s brothers, who had entered the apartment before the police.

In 2005 Elimelech’s family sued the Afuta estate for compensation and requested that the court determine who had done the shooting.

In his ruling the judge decided that Afuta was indeed the killer and that his brother Yosef had moved the gun to protect his brother’s reputation.

The sides were given 30 days in which to complete their compensation claims before issuing a final verdict.

Elimelech’s father told reporters that he was grateful to the judge for taking on the complex case and that he was relieved that the truth had finally come to light.


Anat Elimelech (March 8, 1974 - December 2, 1997) was an Israeli fashion model and an actress who played in commercials and television shows for children. Elimelech was a victim of a Murder–suicide in 1997 in which her boyfriend David Afuta killed her and then committed suicide.


Elimelech was born om Jerusalem in 1974 to Billy and Avi. In her youth, she studied in a high school in Gilo. In 1992, she won the first place in Jerusalem's "Miss Kenyon" beauty pageant, and then began modeling for the modeling agency "Look". During the Contest "Miss Kenyon" beauty pageant she met the successful hairdresser David Afuta (whom had many high-profile clients such as the then Prime Minister's wife Sara Netanyahu amongst others), who was 14 years older than her, and they soon became a couple.

In 1993, Elimelech participated in the Miss Israel beauty pageant and won the title "Queen of Grace" (מלכת החן).

In 1995, Elimelech received a lot of media exposure when she competed in an ongoing segment held during the Israeli version of the game show "Wheel of Fortune" during which contestants competed for the role of the new "Wheel Girl". Although she was very popular she eventually did not become the new "Wheel Girl".

In 1996, Elimelech participated in the children's video "Afrochim" (אפרוחים) together with Asi Levi, Sherry Brzezinski and Sharon Tzur. During the same year she also participated in the children's video "Golden Heart Flower" (פרח לב הזהב).

During 1996, Elimelech also starred in the TV commercials for the Israeli supermarket chain "Hiperkol" (היפרכל).

During the summer of 1997, Elimelech hosted the TV show "HaChofesh HaGadol" (החופש הגדול) in the Israeli Educational Television. That same year, her relations with David Afuta worsened and as a result subsequently she moved back in with her father and his second wife. During the same year Elimelech was supposed to participate in the annual Israeli singing show "The Festigal" with the song "Ballerina", which subsequently was performed by the participants of the Festigal in her memory after her death. On the evening of December 1, 1997, the day before her death, Elimelech appeared along with the other participants of the Festigal Dudu Topaz's entertainment show on Channel 2.

The murder and the investigation

In the morning on December 2, 1997 Elimelech was found dead along with her boyfriend, David Afuta, in their home in the Ramat Beit HaKerem neighborhood in Jerusalem. She was shot once while he was shot twice.

Shortly before the murder, Elimelech father requested that the Police would confiscate Afuta's personal weapon, from fear that he might use it against Elimelech, although the weapon was never taken from Afuta because Elimelech demanded that the complaint would be canceled.

Preliminary investigations of the crime scene revealed that Elimelech was the one who shot Afuta and then committed suicide. The initial presumption, by which Elimelech was the murderer, originated on the basis that their bodies where found when the gun was in her hand. Based on these findings, Elimelech was initially buried in the suicide plot of the Jewish cemetery Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem, in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

Nevertheless, due to pressure from Elimelech's family, during the first month after the murder the police conducted a second investigation on the case in which the investigators discovered that the original team of investigators were negligent and that actually Afuta shot Elimelech and then killed himself. It was also revealed that Afuta's brother arrived first to the scene of the crime before the police, and in order to obscure the evidence, he moved the gun away from Afuta's hand to Elimelech's hand. Although this fact was verified in laboratory tests the prosecution decided, with the support of the police, not to initiate legal proceedings against Afuta's brother and he was released. According to the findings of the renewed police investigation, during the last years of her life Elimelech tried several times to leave Afuta, but Afuta did not let her go and threatened to commit suicide if she left him and as a result she always got back to him.

The findings of the second investigation were published three weeks after the murder. Elimelech's bones were only moved away from the suicide plot of the Har HaMenuchot cemetery to the main burial plot of that cemetery during 2001, four years after her death.

Court ruling

In 2004, Elimelech's father and brother filed a lawsuit against David Afuta's brother Joseph Afuta, demanding that the court would formally determine that Afuta was the murderer, and demanded a compensation of 8.4 million NIS.

Eventually, on 1 March 2011 justice Menachem Cohen formally ruled that the murder was committed by David Aftuta who afterwards committed suicide. He also determined that his brother, Joseph Afuta, tampered with the evidence in the crime scene with the intention of incriminating Elimelech. As a result, the court ruled that Joseph would compensate Elimelech's family with 300,000 NIS.


Anat Elimelech was a victim of a murder–suicide in 1997 in which her boyfriend
David Afuta killed her and then committed suicide.


David Afuta and Anat Elimelech



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