The Israel Police are scrambling to find Brig. Gen. Ephraim Bracha’s cell phone, an investigator stated Sunday morning, just days after the head of the National Fraud Unit was found lifeless in his vehicle with a shot to the heart.
Tracking techniques have so far yielded no results, the investigator told Army Radio, and police officials have expressed serious concern that it has disappeared.
The cell phone could yield vital clues about the moments leading up to Bracha’s death.
Bracha, a Modi’in resident who was married with four children, was 55 when he was found dead last week. He was widely considered to be one of the most senior officials in the Israel Police.
He was found lifeless in his car after he told his wife early Sunday he needed to go outside for a moment to “get some air.”
After he did not return or answer his cell phone, his wife turned to Bracha’s close friend, Lt. Commander Avi Noyman, the Chief Officer of the Education department in the Israel Police.
Noyman mobilized the Modi’in police force, and after a long search, found his car parked on Emek Ha’elah street, with Bracha lifeless inside. The street is near Modi’in’s industrial area and is less than a kilometer from his home.
Magen David Adom (MDA) medics reached the site and attempted to perform life-saving procedures on Bracha, but eventually pronounced him dead at the scene.
Bracha’s reputation was skewered after he was implicated in the Rabbi Pinto corruption case, even though he was cleared of all charges – and the case has been widely cited as a factor in his alleged suicide.
Pinto allegedly attempted to bribe Bracha with $200,000 for information about a pending police investigation into the Hazon Yeshaya charity organization, which Pinto was rumored to be closely involved with.
Bracha immediately reported the incident to his superiors, prompting a separate investigation against Rabbi Pinto himself.
Though Bracha was cleared of all charges, his name was still tainted by the process.