Sick find in accused killer’s home
HE lives in a filthy dirt-floor warehouse with guns and a dozen dead cats dissected in his yard and this week the bodies of his mother and his Australian aunt were found buried in a well on the vacant lot next door.
The bizarre world of ex-Israeli Army officer Nicholas Gil Pereg, whose real name is Guilad Sarusi, is emerging after Argentinian police arrested him for the two women's alleged murder.
His murdered aunt is Australian scientist and University of New England Professor of Microbiology, Lily Pereg,
The bodies of his mother, Pyrhia Sarusi, 63, and 54-year-old Prof Pereg, were found on the vacant lot next to a cemetery in Mendoza, Argentina.
One of the bodies had three gunshot wounds, the other showed signs of being drugged. Both bodies covered with dirt and stones in a two metre deep well on the abandoned lot.
And stories emerging about his life in Argentina include the name he used - Floda Reltih, or Adolf Hitler backwards - when he first came to live in South American from Israel.
The lot lies at the bottom of 36-year-old Mr Pereg's squalid property, where he lived a hermit-like existence adjacent to the Guaymallen cemetery in Mendoza.
Police made the gruesome discovery after a fourth search of the property which has no furniture, no running water, is surrounded by an electric fence and had dead cats dissected on a grill in the yard.
Officers uncovered blood samples in a bag of cement on the property which linked to DNA taken from the women's toothbrushes left in the Mendoza apartment they had spent only one night in after arriving for their holiday.
The two women had vanished two weeks ago in the Argentinian wine country region after Ms Pereg travelled from Armidale, NSW for a much anticipated holiday with her sister and nephew.
Both sisters are originally from Israel, where Ms Sarusi continued to live, and planned to meet up in Argentina on January 11 to stay at the home of Ms Sarusi's son in Mendoza.
Just days earlier, Prof Pereg had been made a full professor at UNE in Armidale.
Prof Pereg had moved to Australia in 1994, after completing a master's degree in marine biology at Tel Aviv University, specialising in the biochemistry of seagrass nitrogen in the Red Sea.
She moved to Australia to take up a University of Sydney PhD scholarship, transferring to UNE in 2001.
Facebook photos of Prof Pereg show her to be a seasoned traveller, both in Australia and around the world.
After 18 years in Armidale, this year Prof Pereg was appointed Professor of Microbiology and before travelling to Argentina told workmates she was excited about the family holiday.
Mr Sarusi had emigrated to Argentina in late 2007 while he was in his 20s and a qualified electronic engineer.
In Argentina, he called himself Nicolás Gil Pereg and eventually bought a warehouse next to a cemetery on Julio Argentina Roca Street in the suburb of Guaymallen in Mendoza.
But people who knew him when he first arrived say he lived in the Mendoza suburb of San Martin where he ran a grill-style restaurant, Black Pearl, and called himself "Floda Reltih".
Because he told people he was Norwegian, they did not question his name or realise it was "Adolf Hitler" backwards.
One remembered "Floda" has having terrible body odour and looking generally filthy and unwashed, as well as being bad tempered, unsociable and a bit "crazy".
He is listed as a director of five companies in Argentina registered between 2011 and 2015, the Mendoza Times reported.
Mr Pereg was also the registered owner of four firearms, including a 9-millimetre pistol Italian Tanfoglio and a similar calibre Brazilian Taurus.
He also had a licence to carry the weapons which is unusual in Argentina unless you work in the security industry, and local media reported he is recorded as having bought ammunition.
The tall, reclusive Mr Pereg who wore his hair in dreadlocks, told his neighbours, Mendoza media reported, that he had had run-ins with local criminals dealing drugs in the area.
Pyrhia Sarusi and Lily Pereg arrived on holiday in the country on Friday, January 11 and booked into an apartment on Avenida España in central Mendoza, 9km from Mr Pereg's warehouse.
Mr Pereg claimed to have received them at his home and then accompany them to take the bus to return to the apartment, saying that was the last time he had seen them.
The last record of them is CCTV from the Guaymallén Cemetery of them entering Mr Pereg's house at 10.15am on January 12.
When Lily Pereg and her sister failed to stay in contact with friends back home, a gofundme.com page was set up on January 16 seeking clues as to their whereabouts.
Mr Pereg said he had agreed to meet them on Sunday, January 13, but when he visited their apartment and again returned on Monday, the woman were not there.
At some point around this time, Mr Pereg appeared to have shaved off his distinctive dreadlocks hairstyle.
He filed a missing persons complaint to Argentinian police, and revealed to local press his theory about what might have happened to them.
"They would not disappear willingly because they are responsible, intelligent and did not know anyone here," he said.
"Someone, who may have come from Israel, went after them to harm them. Or it can be someone who hates me here, in the province, he hurt them to take revenge on me."
Mendoza police found that no images existed of the women leaving Mr Pereg's house because the Guaymallen CCTV camera's cables had been cut.
When police in Mendoza searched Mr Pereg's house, they found he lived in absolute squalor, with no bedrooms, no furniture, no drinking water and the dead cats as well as several dogs chained in the yard.
Police found cash in US dollars and Euro cash worth $A112,000 in the dwelling and noticed blood spots on a shirt and in a bag of cement, and took samples.
Investigating Mr Pereg, they found he was director of five companies which had his mother on the board, and last year suffered financial problems.
They found that last year he bounced 46 cheques from three of the companies in sums totalling almost $340,000.
Last Friday, Homicide prosecutor Claudia Ríos ordered a fourth search of the home and arrested Mr Pereg on charges of homicide and aggravated homicide.
Mr Pereg was taken to the Boulogne Sur Mer Prison and ordered to undergo a psychological examination, after, Ms Rios said, he "threatened to take his own life".
The prison is notorious for its squalor, overcrowding, clogged sewers, dirt floors and human rights abuses.