Investigators Close Inquiry Into Execution of Last Tsar

Investigators have closed an investigation into the shooting of Tsar Nicholas II and his family by Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918.

Opened after the Soviet collapse, the investigation was broadly viewed as a review of the country's communist past -- considered by some as 70 years of national glory and others as a bloody nightmare.

"Today I signed an order to close this criminal case," investigator Vladimir Solovyov, who has conducted the inquiry for 15 years, said Thursday, Itar-Tass reported.

"We have no information that would suggest that those were not the royal family," he said of the bodies of the tsar, his wife and three of his children.

A group of Bolsheviks dumped their bodies into a pit near the house in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, where they had shot the family during a civil war between supporters of the emperor and revolutionaries who supported Vladimir Lenin.

"Their bodies and the cause of their death have been identified," Solovyov said.

The family was reburied in the imperial crypt of the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Officials said last year that they had identified the missing remains of Nicholas II's 13-year-old heir, Grand Prince Alexei, and daughter Grand Princess Maria.

Solovyov said the results of the investigation would be presented in early March at a conference but that the issue of what to do with the remains of Grand Prince Alexei and Grand Princess Maria was still to be decided.