Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Held in Gruesome Park Slayings




Moscow police say they have detained two suspects, including a 16-year-old boy, in connection with their investigation into the slaying of five women in Losiny Ostrov Park in Moscow.


The teenager, a Muscovite, was apprehended shortly after noon Friday in Sokolniky Park after he allegedly attacked a 34-year-old woman with a knife, officials said.


The woman, who was injured in the face and arm, managed to escape and run to a nearby children's hospital, where the medics called police. Police from a patrol station in the park caught the suspect shortly afterward.


The teenager has admitted to killing three women, a Moscow police official working on the case said late Monday. The official, who did not want to be identified, said all of those deaths occurred in Losiny Ostrov park.


Police initially believed one person was responsible for five killings in Losiny Ostrov between Oct. 8 and Nov. 28, but officials said Monday that a 24-year-old man arrested two weeks ago is now suspected in one of the deaths. He is accused of killing a 19-year-old acquaintance and trying to disguise it so that it looked like another act of the "maniac" in the park, a spokeswoman said.


So far there are no suspects in the fifth killing.


Police said the teenager arrested Friday apparently decided to move to Sokolniky Park after learning from newspapers that police were on the lookout for him in Losiny Ostrov.


The suspect is not enrolled in school and is not working anywhere. Under Russian law, the maximum sentence for multiple murders committed by a minor is 10 years in a colony for underage offenders.


None of the five victims, ages 18 to 38, were raped as earlier suspected, a police spokeswoman said Monday. All five died of multiple knife wounds, and a knife was the only weapon used in the murders, she said.


News of the arrests brought little comfort to the residents of two five-story apartment buildings in Losiny Ostrov on Yauznaya Alleya, the lane where one of the murders occurred. Residents interviewed Monday said they did not feel safe even though a prime suspect had been detained.


"We always feel vulnerable," said Yelizaveta Tikhonova, a pensioner who has lived in her apartment for 30 years. "It's far to walk to the bus stop, to the store. We are always in fear."


Residents complain that the community, isolated near a tuberculosis hospital in Losiny Ostrov, a large forest reserve, has long been plagued by robberies, assaults and drug users.


Many residents expressed a desire to leave, but said they can't sell their apartments because nobody wants to live in the area.


The two apartment buildings are located about one kilometer inside the forested park, and it is about a 10-minute walk to the nearest bus or train stops.


All of the victims were killed as they were walking alone during working hours on shortcut paths through the forest.


Residents say they have asked local officials to open a bus route along the lane that leads to their buildings, but they have received no response.


"Before [the murders], we walked with someone down the lane at night. Now, we walk with someone during the day and night," said Zhanna Tokayeva, 35, a laboratory assistant.


"We are happy only that he can't kill anyone else anymore, but there is no guarantee that in six months there won't be another murder," said Vadim, the father-in-law of one of the victims, who did not want to be identified. "There are many murders in Moscow."


"They caught him, but we don't have a daughter, and nothing will bring her back," his wife said angrily. "She taught in school to people that age."