SIDON, Lebanon: Lebanese authorities arrested a young man over the killing of a 90-year-old woman in her Sidon apartment on Christmas Eve, security sources said Wednesday.
The sources, who spoke to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as Samir Ibrahim al-Sayess, a Palestinian.
They said Sayess, who was arrested five days after police found Badriyya al-Sinn brutally killed in her house, had confessed to the crime.
Sayess, who lives in the city’s old district, said he buried the bracelets he ripped off Sinn’s wrist near a hospital in Kfar Falous, east of Sidon.
Police and the Lebanese Army headed toward the hiding place and dug up the jewelry, the sources added.
A Sidon mayor, who is Sinn’s cousin, said Wednesday the suspected killer had offered condolences to the family.
“He [Sayess] was among us. He came and gave condolences for the death of Badriyya,” Khaled al-Sinn told The Daily Star.
Sayess, the mayor added, came under suspicion when he admitted he had visited the victim shortly before the killing, asking for glue to bond his shoe.
"When we asked him about the bracelets, he gave the exact number the victim wore before she was murdered," the mayor said.
Sinn said that for the few days following the murder, Sayess was kept under close watch by locals but that later on they decided to inform security services.
The sources said there is increasing suspicion that Sayess is likely connected to a similar crime some three months ago in Beirut when Hayat al-Masri was murdered in the same way. Masri is a relative of Sinn.