Hungary: Two Suspects Arrested Over Murder of Israeli Backpacker

H ungarian police on Sunday arrested two people suspected of murdering Israeli tourist Ofir Gross, his family confirmed to Israeli media.

The body of the 40-year-old Gross, a resident of Jerusalem, was found in a forest overnight Saturday, two weeks after he went missing in the Eastern European country.

“We received word that suspects were arrested,” Gross’s mother, Hannah, told the Ynet news website on Sunday. “We still don’t know very much, we’re still trying to process the terrible news.”

According to the report, the Hungarian police — based on forensic evidence discovered at the scene — believe Gross was murdered. Local media reported the two suspects are 19 and 21 years old.

His family was traveling to Hungary to identify the body, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement earlier on Sunday.

According to his family, Gross, who was a biomedical engineering student in Germany, was staying with a friend in the southern town of Tiszakecske, when his host suddenly had to travel to the capital, Budapest.

Gross then took off to the eastern city of Debrecen, the country’s second-largest, and went missing somewhere along the way.

Last week, his sister Gali told Ynet that her brother was a very competent and capable person, and that his disappearance was unexpected.

In their last conversation on April 21, Gali said Gross had told her he had nowhere to stay while in Debrecen, and that a young man he had just met invited him to spend the night at his house.

Last week, Israel Police representatives in Europe organized a special task force to help Hungarian authorities with the investigation into Gross’s whereabouts.

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