A young woman and mother of three – 31-year-old Daria (Dasha) Litle – was murdered early this morning.
Her husband, Josiah Litle, is in police custody and has apparently confessed to the murder according to Israeli media reports on Ynet. ALL ISRAEL NEWS has not been able to independently verify at this hour.
Litle is accused of strangling and beating his wife with a hammer before he called the police. The couple have three young daughters who were sleeping in the apartment at the time.
Daria is the sixth women in Israel in 2023 to be murdered by her husband or partner, according to several Israeli Knesset members who spoke out about the tragedy.
Daria's father told N12 news: "She wanted to break up with him and he murdered her. I don't have a daughter now. I can't understand what happened to my daughter. The police came in the morning and told me, 'Your daughter was murdered.' It's devastating."
"I work in a night club. I came back around 5 a.m. completely sober," Litle allegedly told investigators, according to Ynet, an Israeli media outlet.
"I was sitting and drinking beer. One of our daughters woke up and my wife woke up, too. She saw me drinking and got angry at me. She asked, 'Are you drinking again?' An argument started. She pushed me and then I pushed her back. I didn't mean to kill her," he continued.
The head of the welfare department in Haifa said the couple was referred to welfare services in 2021 and that Josiah had threatened to kill his wife in the past.
This is the second tragedy to hit Josiah Litle's family, an Evangelical Christian family who moved to Israel from the United States more than thirty years ago. Josiah's sister, 14 years old, was killed in March 2003 when a suicide bomber blew himself up on the bus she was traveling on in Haifa.
Please pray for Daria's family, the Litle family and their three young children during this devastating time.
The Messianic and Evangelical community in Israel has moved quickly to surround them with love and support.
Article updated on March 19th to clarify that 14-year-old Abigail was Josiah's sister.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.