Body Parts Found
Russian taken in for questioning on Thursday night.
S ecurity guard Malakai Rauqera points to the place where a pair of feet, chopped off from the ankle, were found at Natadola Beach, Nadi, yesterday. Police have not ruled out that it could belong to either of a Russian couple, Yuri Shipulin and his wife, Natalia, reported missing since last Thursday. The find was about 200 metres from where the couple’s vehicle was found by Police on Friday afternoon.
Apair of feet, chopped off from the ankle, was found at Natadola Beach yesterday. Police have not ruled out that it could belong to either of the Russian couple who were reported missing last week. The human body parts were found by security officer Alipate Harilevu about 200metres from where the couple’s vehicle was found by Police on Friday afternoon. The Fiji Sun also established that a man was taken in for questioning on Thursday night. More revelations were unearthed yesterday by witnesses at Natadola who had seen the couple’s vehicle arrive there on Thursday afternoon.
Yuri Shipulin and his wife, Natalia left their farm in the hills of Kachiquari, which is off a feeder road on the way to Nausori Highlands, in Nadi, sometime after midday last Thursday. According to a Police source, the couple were spotted a little later at Denarau Island having some drinks.
Later that same afternoon, the couple’s vehicle, a grey metallic Toyota Land Cruiser, bearing the registration ‘PILOT’, was found at Natadola Beach, with the doors unlocked and the keys still in the ignition. Police have also confirmed that sand found in the couple’s second vehicle had been taken for analysis to see whether it matched the sand at Natadola Beach. Meanwhile security officer Harilevu is employed by Sea Breeze Water Sports at Natadola Beach where he looks after their jet skis for hire.
Since the jet skis are kept fulltime at the beach, the company hires security officers who keep a watch on it, especially during the night.
Mr Harilevu had just finished his shift at 8am yesterday when he saw the heavy surf pounding onto an object on the water’s edge. On his inspection, he found the pair of feet, wrapped in green netting, similar to ones used for greenhouses, with about five stones inside, probably used as weight and tied together with fishing line.
The pair of feet reportedly belonged to a caucasian and had all the toes intact.
Police detectives, led by divisional Police commander West SSP Marika Yalimaiwai and divisional crime officer West ASP Aliksio Lawakeni arrived at the beach and after investigations took the body parts with them. Afternoon shift workers spotted the vehicle, ‘PILOT’ arriving sometime after 5pm and driving to the far end of the beach on the day the couple disappeared. It returned a short while later and parked at the spot where it was found later by the Police. Rupeni Tokavou, another security officer, began his shift at 7pm that night at the beach and noticed the vehicle parked there. “The place was bright because of the moon,” he said. “We thought some people had come to party there so we did not pay much attention.” Later that night, as Mr Tokavou and three other colleagues huddled around a fire they had lit, they noticed a fire too was lit near the vehicle. “We saw a torch light later go near the water and returned.” At about 3am on Friday morning, a man, who looked caucasian walked past and they thought he was a guest at Yatule Resort, which is nearby. “As he walked past us, he held a mobile phone up to his ear, partially covering his face and he had turned his head away from us,” Mr Tokavou said. “We saw he did not enter Yatule Resort but walked away towards the gravel road that led to the Natadola Road.” On Friday morning, the new shift of workers, including Malakai Rauqera noticed ‘PILOT’ still parked at the same spot. “I went over and checked and noticed the right back tyre was punctured, the keys still in the ignition, some lady’s clothes and a woman’s passport,” Mr Rauqera said.
Police arrived later that afternoon and took the vehicle to the Nadi Police Station.
Investigations are continuing.
The couple’s second vehicle (right), in which sand was found, parked at the Nadi Police Station last night.
A stick marks the spot near the water’s edge where the feet were found.