In Yekaterinburg, well-known photographer Dmitry Loshagin, who allegedly killed his wife, Yulia Prokopyeva, a photo model, was acquitted of the charges. The collected evidence was insufficient to convict the man of murder. On Thursday, December 25th, the judge ordered to release Dmitry Loshagin, Interfax reports.
The defendant was strongly denying the fact that he killed his wife. However, he refused to take a lie detector test. At the last court session, Loshagin said that he wanted to be released, that he held no grudge against anyone and only wanted to return to a quiet life.
"Neither the motive nor the purpose of the crime have been established. There is no single eyewitness, there is no direct evidence either," the defendant's lawyer, Sergei Lashin said.
Prosecutor Michael Ozdoev requested the defendant should be jailed for 13 years. The victim's mother, Svetlana Ryabova, said that she was going to appeal against the acquittal of her son-in-law, RIA Novosti reports.
Yulia Prokopyeva was a famous model in Russia's Urals. The 28-year-old woman disappeared immediately after a VIP party, which was held on August 22, 2013. The party was arranged in Yulia's own honor, to celebrate her birthday. Her husband, photographer Dmitry Loshagin, arranged the party in his studio in Yekaterinburg.
According to investigators, during the party, a few guests went up to the roof of the building, from where Loshagin and his wife went downstairs, as defendant's friends said. The woman was never seen afterwards.
Investigators believe that the couple had a fight, and the drunken photographer broke her neck.
To hide the body, Loshagin allegedly packed it into a plastic box. He subsequently took the box to his garage and loaded into his vehicle. The man then took the body into the woods near the settlement of Pervouralsk, doused the body with gasoline, set on fire and left.
To confirm this version, an investigative experiment was conducted. However, the experiment raised many questions. For example, some do not believe that it was possible to pack the woman's body into not a very large plastic container without dismembering the body first.
The search for the woman started only on 31 August, when her brother Mikhail Ryabov reported her disappearance to the police. By that time, the charred remains of the model had been kept in the morgue of Pervouralsk for a week. However, the woman's relatives did not identify the body, although they noted some similarities.
Dmitry Loshagin was not showing any concern about the disappearance of his wife from the very start of the process. He explained his presence in the area, where Yulia's body was found, by saying that he was looking for his wife there. According to the man, Yulia went to Pervouralsk to meet a female friend of hers there.
On the site, where the woman's body as found, investigators discovered traces of petroleum products from the sheets of roofing material. A similar substance was found on Dmitry Loshagin's sneakers. During the hearings, it was also revealed that shortly before she was killed, Yulia had been sexually assaulted. However, investigators ignored this fact. The criminal case does not say a word about the rape.
In one of his interviews, Dmitry Loshagin described romantic details of his marriage to Yulia. He said that he proposed her on a business trip to India, calling her his "lifetime muse." However, after Yulia disappeared, the photographer struck all with his cynicism. He would post messages on the Internet describing how dentists fixed his chipped tooth. He also refused to come to identify the body by sending a text message: "I can't. I'm on a presentation."
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