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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Probe Into Deaths of 15 Women Ends

Prosecutors have wrapped up the investigation into the murder of 15 women whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in the Urals in February, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Eight men have been charged with the rape and murder of the victims, aged 13 to 26, most of whom were forced to work as prostitutes. Defense lawyers are now studying the case materials in preparation for trial, Interfax reported.

Prosecutors did not specify when the trial might begin.

The mass grave was found outside the town of Levikha, situated between the cities of Nizhny Tagil and Yekaterinburg in February. The suspects, aged 23 to 45, are all from Nizhny Tagil.

The victims disappeared from 2002 to 2005. Those identified include a 15-year-old girl and her 13-year-old friend, both of whom disappeared in July 2005.

The two girls were lured to an apartment, raped and told they would have to work as prostitutes, prosecutors said. Both refused and, like the other victims, were then killed, their bodies dumped in the forest.