British News Publishes Photo of Scottish Woman Who Died In Eilat

British tabloids on Sunday published a jarring postmortem photo of a Scottish woman who died in Eilat in November; in a case her family says was botched by police.

In the photo, Julie Pearson can be seen lying in an open-casket, her face badly bruised and swollen. Her aunt, Deborah Pearson, says the bruises and injuries to the rest of the body were even worse.

Pearson said the decision to release the photo was made out of frustration with the police investigation, and the autopsy which ruled last month that Julie died of natural causes.

“We wanted to keep the photos out as long as we could but we felt like we had no option [but] to print them today”, Pearson said, adding “I said we have to do something now because how can they say she died of natural causes when her face was covered in bruises, he whole body was covered in bruising.”

According to the ruling of the autopsy performed at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, the cause of death was determined to be “Idiopathic Spontaneous Intraperitoneal Hemorrhage in combination with high blood alcohol level.”

The family has cast doubt on that assertion, Pearson says, and she vowed Sunday that once they receive all of the documents they’ve requested from the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute they will take them to a pathologist in Scotland for a second opinion.

In January, the story of Julie Pearson reached the House of Commons when Hannah Bardell, an MP from Livingston, told Prime Minister David Cameron that Pearson’s family is “struggling to get answers from the Israeli government and authorities; in particular, they are struggling to get her autopsy report.

Will the prime minister meet me to discuss putting pressure on the Israeli government and authorities to look into Julie’s death, so that her family can get the answers that they want and ultimately get justice for Julie?”

Cameron responded that while he wasn’t familiar with the case, he would take it up with Israeli authorities.

The 38-year-old Kinross native arrived in Eilat in September 2014, and stayed long after her three-month visa expired. Pearson’s father is Jewish and her grandmother was born in Jerusalem, but an attempt to make Aliya failed. The Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority said that the request wasn’t granted because she failed to procure the proper documentation, but that she was in no danger of being deported.

Media reports have stated that the bruising was the result of a beating Pearson suffered at the hands of her then-boyfriend, reportedly an East Jerusalem resident named Amjad Hatib.

He reportedly beat her a day or two before she collapsed at the Dolphin guesthouse in Eilat, from where she was taken to Joseftal Hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

Deborah Pearson said that the family only learned of Julie’s death when she was contacted three days later by one of her late niece’s friends in Eilat, and not from police or Israeli authorities.

Though police did not respond to a query by press time Sunday, in January, Eilat Police spokesman Itzik Elfasi said that the investigation into Pearson’s death is still open and that regardless of a person’s status in Israel, “police examine the cause of death using all tools and means at our disposal, and do everything possible in order to uncover the truth and the identity [or legal status] of the victim does not and would not diminish the means we would use in order to determine the truth.”

He added that police had reason to believe that Pearson was beaten the day before she died, but that there was no connection between the beating and her death, which was also the finding of the initial autopsy in the case.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    The parents of a British ex-pat found dead in Israel last year have released gruesome postmortem pictures which they claim proves their daughter was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend.

    Last month the Israeli police ended their investigation into the death of Julie Pearson, a British national who had been living in the southern town of Eilat.

    Ruling her death a result of a rare stomach disease, the investigation dismissed allegations that Pearson had died as a result of physical abuse by her former boyfriend, Amjad Khatib.

    After Pearson’s body was returned to her family in the UK, however, the visible signs of intense abuse rekindled suspicions that Pearson was murdered by Khatib – and that the Israeli police were concealing the cause of the death.

    Pearson, who was 38 at the time of her death, traveled to Israel in 2014 with the hopes of getting Israeli citizenship based on her paternal grandmother’s Jewish heritage and residence in Jerusalem prior to the founding of the state.

    After her request for citizenship was denied, Pearson was arrested for overstaying her visa and later fell into a vicious cycle of drug and alcohol abuse.

    Pearson eventually moved into a rundown apartment in Eilat, sharing a room with strangers. She also began a relationship with Khatib, an Arab resident of eastern Jerusalem.

    Friends and neighbors testified that Pearson was regularly beaten by Khatib, who on at least one occasion was seen slamming Pearson head-first into a door.

    Pearson’s family accused the Israeli police of dragging their feet in the investigation, which took nearly half a year to complete. Relatives were skeptical of the inquiry’s conclusions, noting that Pearson had never shown symptoms of the rare stomach condition before.

    The clear signs of abuse on Pearson’s body only strengthened the family’s suspicions, but Israeli police stated that no further investigations were planned.

    On Sunday the family publicized pictures of Pearson from her funeral. The images show heavy bruising across Pearson’s face, but her family claims the signs of violence on the rest of her body were ever more severe.

    “We wanted people to see what we saw,” Deborah Pearson, Julie’s aunt, told the Daily Mail. “Her injuries were even worse than what you can see. She had bruises all over her body – her torso, back, shoulders.”

    “There is no way she died from natural causes,” said Julie’s mother, Margaret Pearson. “We feel we have no other choice but to let the world see the injuries my daughter sustained as we try to get to the truth of how Julie died.”

    Pearson was beaten by Khatib just hours before her death, but pathologists insist the injuries suffered from the abuse were not fatal.

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