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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Foul Play in Death of U.S. Citizen Denied

The Moscow prosecutor's office Thursday denied allegations made in the United States that police had covered up evidence of foul play allegedly involved in the death of an American economist in his Moscow apartment last November.

According to a U.S. Embassy spokesman, Charles Dasaro told a Boston television station Tuesday that he distrusted Russian autopsy results indicating that his son, Michael Dasaro, died of a heart attack because photographs taken 10 days after the death showed dried blood in the bathtub where the body was found Nov. 13.

Yury Sukharev, the investigator handling the case at the Moscow prosecutor's office, said he had seen "a few drops" of blood in the bathtub after the removal of the body later that day, but denied any cover-up. He stuck by his Nov. 17 statement that while Dasaro's apartment off Malaya Bronnaya Ulitsa had been broken into and ransacked, there were no marks or signs of violence on the body.

"When they pulled him out and put him on the stretcher to go to the morgue, literally a few drops came out," he said. "When Michael Desaro was lying in the bathtub, when all the investigations and medical reports were done, there was no blood."

Sukharev said the blood was the result of deterioration of the body after death. He stuck by his earlier hypothesis that a shock or a mild struggle during an attempted burglary might have killed Dasaro, 35, who worked in the privatization section of the auditing firm Ernst & Young. Autopsy results showed Dasaro suffered from cardiomyopathy, a rare disease that causes heart failure and often goes undetected until it strikes.

The investigation is continuing but no arrests have been made.

The U.S. Embassy spokesman said the Dasaro family had a second autopsy performed in the United States but had not made the results public.

Dasaro worked in the U.S. Embassy economics section for four years before taking a job in Nizhny Novgorod in late 1992 and finally joining Ernst & Young.