A bride-to-be was hacked to death with an axe days before her wedding – and murder detectives have launched a manhunt for her missing fiancé.
The semi-naked body of victim Marina Pankratova, 26, was found in her bed at her Moscow home, and she had suffered horrific wounds to her head and face. She recently told police her future husband, Alexander Voronin, had been violent towards her.
The 28-year-old groom, who is the nephew of an FSB security service lieutenant-colonel, has gone on the run and is being sought for murder, law enforcement sources said.
Ms Pankratova recently bought a wedding dress as she excitedly made final preparations for the couple’s big day, which was due to take place in front of family and friends in August, just four months after they began dating.
Her future mother-in-law discovered the body at the bloody scene in Russia’s capital.
Ms Pankratova was also covered in bruises.
A pistol was discovered at the scene.
The night before Ms Pankratova’s body was found, CCTV cameras showed Voronin hitting her in the face during an argument, it is alleged.
Voronin was seen leaving his flat with a backpack on Sunday, and a murder hunt has been launched.
He was “silent and reticent”, said a neighbour who saw him.
The bride’s face was disfigured and her skull fractured from wounds caused by a small axe.
Relatives say the couple had dated a long time after meeting at a hardware store where they both worked.
Friends said they had a “very tender” relationship.
“They were a nice couple. very calm and quiet,” said one neighbour.
A female neighbour said: “I’m shocked.
“They were a nice and intelligent couple.”
However, it was revealed that Ms Pankratova had recently complained about domestic violence to the police, but later withdrew the claim and agreed to marry Voronin.
Local media claimed Ms Pankratova had gone to the hospital before with bruises after being assaulted by her partner.
One of those incidents occurred in May and Ms Pankratova had a note from the hospital confirming her visit, Life reported.
On her Twitter profile, she wrote about being beaten by her partner, but when the couple reconciled she deleted the tweets.
Friends told local media the couple began dating in April and in May they decided to arrange an August wedding.
Police confirmed Voronin – who had two young children from previous relationships – is the main suspect and a search is underway.