Ex-boyfriend suspected of crime of passion

15-aastase neiu mõrvapaik Kohtla-Järvel.

PHOTO: Meelis Meilbaum

Multiple stab wounds on the body of 15-year-old Anastasia pointed to a possible crime of passion from the first. The teenage girl’s ex-boyfriend Artjom (18) became the prime suspect of her murder from the first moments of the investigation on Sunday morning.

“Yes, that was our initial version of events,” Eastern Police Prefect Tarvo Kruup told Postimees. The murder of the schoolgirl in the quiet city of Kohtla-Järve shocked the community.

Experts were still working on Anastasia’s body after she was found dead on Pärna street on Sunday morning when the police received an unexpected call. Concerned parents said they had not found their teenage daughter in her bed come morning. The call identified the victim, and police officers just had to follow the hot trail of the crime from there.

The main murder suspect was Anastasia’s former boyfriend, local youth Artjom. The victim’s friends described him as at times violent. The police know Artjom from several past misdemeanors.

One of Anastasia’s friends told investigators how the victim had tried to contact Artjom on the phone on Friday, but he had not answered. Only Artjom knows what happened between them late Saturday night.

Artjom was arrested at around 7.30 p.m. on Sunday evening in Narva where he liked to spend his free time. The suspected murderer was arrested in the middle of the street once detectives had his location.

Prefect Kruup does not want to speculate what might have helped prevent the shocking crime. “If there is something about this that bothers me, it is the person who claimed in the press that they heard screams at the scene of the crime on the night of the murder,” he said. “I don’t know whether that person even exists, but if they do, why didn’t they phone the police upon hearing the screams for help?”

The police had nine patrols in the Jõhvi area that night. “I cannot say whether our patrol responding to the call could have prevented the murder, but we would at least have had a chance to intervene,” the police chief said.

People’s indifference also baffles the woman who discovered Anastasia’s body: there were people on the street when she took her dog out for a walk around nine o’clock, but no one paid any attention to the body lying on the ground.

“Her body was visible from the street, I saw her white sneakers and black hair clearly. Do people not care about what goes on around them these days?” Viktoria asked. “I walked up to her and said: girl, girl… Bit she did not react in any way, didn’t move. I saw she was not breathing.”

The body was found a 15-minute walk away from the house Anastasia lived in. “We have never been here with Nastja. It is strange for her to end up here,” said the victim’s friend Katja.