Rus­sian Cou­ple ‘School Lovers’

Mur­dered Ship­ulin and Gerasi­mova were soul mates, says Rus­sian State-owned tele­vi­sion sta­tion re­port

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - CHARLES CHAM­BERS Feed­back: charles.cham­bers@fi­

Mur­dered Rus­sian cou­ple Yuri Ship­ulin and Nataliya Gerasi­mova were lovers at school and soul mates, Rus­sian State-owned tele­vi­sion sta­tion re­ported. The back­ground story about the cou­ple was aired in a pro­gramme called Rus­sian -24 Spe­cial Re­port. Ex­cerpts of the re­port were sent to the Fiji Sun, which has been in­un­dated with queries about the cou­ple’s mur­der from me­dia out­lets in Rus­sia. The tele­vi­sion re­port said Mr Ship­ulin was born in the south of Rus­sia. The pro­gramme pro­ducer Gala Druzhinia in a brief to the Fiji Sun said Mr Ship­ulin met Ms Gerasi­mova dur­ing their school days. They were in the same class. The cou­ple fell in love and soon they moved to Ryazan City, a small city lo­cated in Cen­tral Rus­sia.

It is a ma­jor sci­en­tific, mil­i­tary and in­dus­trial cen­tre of the coun­try. The city’s pop­u­la­tion is more than 534,000. The re­port said the cou­ple had a flour­ish­ing busi­ness but it did not men­tion their line of busi­ness. Mr Ship­ulin’s car here had the num­ber plate reg­is­tra­tion ‘PI­LOT’ and he is be­lieved to have been a for­mer pi­lot. Five years ago they left Ryazan and headed to Fiji. After they ar­rived here they bought a farm in the high­lands at Mu­lo­mulo, in­land from Nadi, and grew veg­eta­bles.

On June 16 they left their farm after mid­day but never re­turned. They were sub­se­quently re­ported miss­ing by their busi­ness part­ner. On the evening of June 17, Po­lice re­cov­ered the cou­ple’s ve­hi­cle, but there was no sign of the cou­ple.

The first of a se­ries of body parts was found at Nata­dola Beach. DNA tests showed that the body parts were of the Rus­sian cou­ple. A head wrapped in net­ting was later found. It is be­lieved it was Mr Ship­ulin. Some se­cu­rity guards for Sea Breeze Jet Ski saw a ghost-like fig­ure on the beach early on June 17 and shone a torch on the “big man” at around 3am. How­ever, they feared that the per­son whom they de­scribed “as white from the hip up and black down­wards” could have been an evil be­ing, a ghost. They did not pur­sue him be­cause they were afraid. It is spec­u­lated the black could have been the bot­tom part of a wet suit used by divers.

A Po­lice of­fi­cer said had the se­cu­rity guards con­fronted the man they may have caught the killer. Mean­while, 12 divers from the Naval Squadron joined the Po­lice Force team to search Nata­dola wa­ters.

Po­lice say they are not re­leas­ing any in­for­ma­tion about their in­ves­ti­ga­tions to pro­tect the in­tegrity of their enquiry. Edited by Ne­mani De­laibatiki

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