TEL AVIV (Jun. 17)
The police were reported today to be at a dead end in their search for eight-year-old Oron Yarden who was kidnapped 10 years ago but not released after his parents, Penina and Amos Yarden of Tel Aviv, paid the IL 2 million ransom demanded by his abductors.
The police reported yesterday that 12 persons had been arrested during the previous 24 hours for questioning in connection with the crime. They include two known prostitutes and their pimp who were remanded to jail for 10 days by a Tel Aviv magistrate today. According to the police, they have some knowledge of the kidnapping and may possess information as to the missing child’s whereabouts. One of the prostitutes reportedly knew the boy. He was last seen on Sunday, June 8, in the wealthy Savyon quarter of Tel Aviv where his parents live.
Massive searches by police, troops and civilian volunteers aided by helicopters and other aircraft began Tuesday night after the ransom was paid but the boy failed to appear. The searches centered on the coastal plain between Kfar Saba where the ransom money was dropped and Rishon LeZion. The first palpable clues were reported yesterday when police found photographs of the boy and some boys in a flat in Magdiel, near Kfar Saba, indicating that he had been held there.
Oron’s parents made an impassioned appeal to the Kidnappers on radio and television Monday to release their child unharmed. Premier Menachem Begin also made a personal appeal. Yesterday, Oron’s mother went to Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem to pray for her son’s safe return.
The crime had shocked and shamed Israelis and even underworld elements are helping police with information gleaned from criminal sources. An IL 250,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the boy’s recovery. Nothing has been heard from the kidnappers since their call for ransom last Tuesday. Israeli legal sources are said to be considering an offer of immunity to the kidnappers if Oron is returned unharmed.
Rabbis and yeshiva students are helping by reciting prayers and psalms at the Yarden home.