Crime Watch

Chunks of Flesh, Leg Found In Trash

Jul 04, 2007
The Moscow Times

In a week of bizarre crimes involving dismembered corpses, an elderly woman hacked up her adult son with an ax and a saw after years of fighting over his girlfriends, while a sawed-off leg led police to two suspects in a drunken double murder, prosecutors said.

Garbage men collecting trash on Graivoronovskaya Ulitsa, near the Tekstilshchiki metro station in southeast Moscow, Thursday afternoon alerted police after they found chunks of human flesh among the debris, Vasily Yevdokimov, deputy head of the Kuzminki district prosecutor's office, said Tuesday.

Within hours, investigators had tracked the gruesome find back to the nearby apartment of Yekaterina Petrayeva, 71, who had lived there with her son, Valery Petrayev, 37.

When investigators searched the apartment, they found human bones and flesh, and Petrayeva admitted to smashing her son over the head with an ax and using a hacksaw to dismember him, Yevdokimov said.

"After that, she wrapped up the body parts in bed sheets, loaded them onto a hand cart and disposed of them in the nearby garbage container," he said. "But she apparently didn't have enough time to get rid of all the body parts."

The murder took place sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, he said, adding that Petrayeva had asked some acquaintances to help her dispose of the body and that these acquaintances would be witnesses in the case. Petrayeva told investigators that she and her son had long been at odds over the girlfriends he had brought home, and that the killing was the result of just such an argument. "She was always kicking his girlfriends out of the apartment," Yevdokimov said.

Petrayeva has been charged with murder, which carries a possible life sentence. But she will undergo further psychological tests to determine whether she was of sound mind at the time of the killing, "given the specific and violent nature of the crime," Yevdokimov said.

In another grisly discovery, a person who had taken out his trash on the morning of June 25 alerted police that he found a human leg in a garbage container on Lyublinskaya Ulitsa, also near the Tekstilshchiki metro station, City Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said Tuesday.

Later that day, investigators identified the apartment in which they believed the murder had taken place, and after breaking down the door with the help of emergency response personnel, they discovered the bodies of two men -- one with a missing leg, Titova said.

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in the double homicide, which investigators believe stemmed from a drunken argument. The two suspects were guests at the apartment and began quarreling with the host and his neighbor over drinks, Titova said. Neighbors told police they had heard a ruckus and suspicious screams the night before, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.

The suspected murder weapon, a knife, was found at the crime scene, as was a power saw used to cut off the leg. The suspects, whose names have not been released because of the ongoing investigation, have been charged with murder and face life in prison.


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