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The story of Oron Yarden

It was early evening on Sunday the 8th of June 1980 and I was sitting in my office at the Mesubim police station. The phone on my desk rang and the desk sergeant briefly informed me that he had received a message about a missing 8-year-old boy named Oron Yarden.

At the time I was serving as the head of the crime fighting unit and the desk sergeant's message did not immediately compel me to take action. A patrol unit was sent out to Savyon and I was convinced that the boy would be quickly found and returned safely to his home. Night started to fall and the boy was still missing.

We continued to search all night and at daybreak I joined the team of investigators in the field to try and seek out any witnesses that may have seen what had happened to Oron or to try and find some overlooked clue that could lead us to his whereabouts.

In the afternoon we received an anonymous call from a man claiming to be holding Oron and demanding a ransom of 2,000,000 Lira's to release him.

That night I sat with Oron's parents, Amos and Pnina Yarden. I didn't pull any punches in my interrogation of them in order to try and discover why specifically their child had been the one abducted out of all the children in Savyon.

The ransom was dropped off at the arranged place and time and was collected by the kidnapper however the boy was not returned.

The weeks that followed were difficult ones shrouded in questions. While Oron's parents sunk into even deeper despair, my team and I found ourselves frustrated and discouraged at our lack of progress.

We then received a report from Bank HaPoalim in Rehovot that a man had opened an account at their local branch and had deposited a very large sum of money which was later confirmed as the ransom money.

This is how we finally caught the kidnapper and murderer Zvi Gur.

The murderer led my team of investigators to the sand dunes opposite Beit Goldmintz in Netanya and led us to the poor child's buried body.

All these years later I am still pained by the kidnapping and murdering of Oron Yarden.

In the last few years, I have expressed my opinion in several television interviews as to whether after all these years Oron's murderer should be released.

My opinion differs to that of the Yarden family who believe that the murderer should live out his remaining days behind bars.

Today it was revealed that Zvi Gur is unconscious and on a life support machine in critical condition and I once again find myself being asked my opinion on the subject of whether he should be released to die at home or left to pass away in prison.

I once again believe that Gur should be released but the family are once again against such a move.

The legal case is currently being assessed and I along with the rest of the country am waiting to see what happens next.

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