An Israeli court on Sunday issued an arrest warrant for Thomas Gross, 63, a resident of Herzliya who is suspected of killing his mother, Ina, 78, in her Lakewood, Fl. home in 2012. The warrant came in response to a US extradition request. Gross, who has a dual citizenship – US and Israel, was later arrested by the Israel Police Interpol unit in conjunction with the Yarkon precinct. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) instructed the State Attorney’s Office to bring Gross before a District Court to rule on his extradition.
According to the website Ina Gross Justice Project, Ina Gross, 78, was found dead in the garage of her Lakewood Ranch home on Jan. 9, 2012. A knife was next to her body. Thomas J. Gross, who had been visiting his mother in the days before her death, reported finding her body and then, as a homicide investigation had begun, returned to Israel. Gross was named a suspect early on by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Gross’ sister, Ellen Gerth, has been active in pursuing her brother’s arrest and prosecution. “Have the wheels of justice been moving fast enough? No,” she said last Friday, adding, “I want the public to know that my mother’s life has not been forgotten, and that I will continue to fight tooth and nail until this person — this murderer — is off the streets.”
She also said that her brother will “now understand he cannot continue to live a life of freedom and enjoy a life while my young mother was prematurely murdered because he was a selfish person and a very unhealthy person.”
Gerth speculated that her mother had been murdered for her money. For decades, she said, her parents gave Tom “tens of thousands of dollars to assist in a down payment on a home and the adoption of a child.”
Gerth has filed several lawsuits pertaining to her parents’ estate in an effort to keep Gross from getting it. Their father, Samuel Gross, died from cancer in 2010.
“Tom killed my mother for money,” Gerth said. “He is an unhealthy person. I’m doing everything in my power to prevent him from accomplishing what he set out to do. The money is irrelevant to me. My mother’s life, her memory, her honor and her dignity are important to me.”