POLICE: RUSSIANS WERE MURDERED
Body parts found were that of missing couple, DNA tests showed
Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and his wife, Natalia, were murdered and their bodies dismembered, Police said yesterday.
Chief of Intelligence and Crime Assistant Commissioner of Police Luke Navela confirmed the DNA samples from the two pairs of feet found matched that of their families in Russia.
Meanwhile, a Police source said detectives were also checking out information that one of the couple’s chainsaws was missing from the farm. ACP Navela said Police had not brought that information into the investigations yet. There were also unconfirmed reports that the couple were seen at a resort close to where their feet were found that Thursday evening. The unconfirmed reports said the couple were seen at the back of the hotel and were asked by a security guard to stay in the front of the hotel. ACP Navela said they had no reports regarding this information, but Police were investigating all leads. The pairs of feet were found wrapped in nettings, weighed down by stones and held together by fishing lines. They were washed up on Natadola Beach. More body parts were later found on the beach.
The couple 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 on June 16.
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 seen driving to Natadola Beach.
The following day, Police, acting on a missing person’s report raised by the couple’s business partner, Andrew Luzanenk, located the vehicle parked under trees at the beach.
Its doors were unlocked with the keys still
in the ignition. Police found a woman’s clothing, believed to be the one Natalia was wearing the previous day and a passport. Mr Luzanenk told the Fiji Sun two days after the couple were reported missing that they were going through a financial crisis. Their business was badly hit by Cyclone
Winston which ravaged their fruit and vegetable farm. Meanwhile, divers from the Fijian navy will assist Police from today to search the Natadola waters to see if more body parts or evidence could be found.
Police found a woman’s clothing, believed to be the one Natalia was wearing the previous day and a passport.
The missing Russian couple... Yuri Shipulin and wife, Natalia. Their vehicle was later found abandoned at Natadola Beach with the car keys still in the ignition. INSET: The Russian couple’s vehicle covered in dust at the Nadi Police Station.
Malakai Rauqera points to the spot where a pair of feet was found.