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Court dramatically frees photographer accused of killing model wife and disfiguring her body

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 December 2014

Dmitry Loshagin held for year and a half after remains of naked wife Yulia, 28, found in woods.

The naked body of 28 year old Yulia Loshagina was found in woodland, her neck broken and face and hands disfigured by burning. Picture: Dmitry Loshagin

The 39 year old photographer was acquitted of killing his glamorous wife after a rooftop party in a long running case that has transfixed the Urals. Prosecutors had called for Loshagin to be jailed for 13 years. He had been held in custody for 15 months as the investigation and trial proceeded.

The verdict clearing the only suspect  - who was released in the courtroom - leaves investigators at square one as they are forced to restart the probe into the glamour model's death. 

Loshagin had denied his guilt throughout, claiming he was framed and insisting: 'I loved my wife.'

He said after being set free in the courtroom: 'I endured my wife's death, horrific accusations, betrayal and humiliation. I have spent 15 and a half months in prison. I simply want to get back to my normal life.'

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

There were claims based on medical evidence and heard in court  that she had been violently raped shortly before her death, though prosecutors did not accuse Loshagin of sexually attack his wife. Pictures: Dmitry Loshagin

But his wife's mother Svetlana Ryabova - who claims key evidence was mysteriously omitted from the trial - now intends to appeal the verdict.

It is exceptionally rare for Russian courts to reject the findings of investigators and bring in not guilty verdicts. 

The naked body of 28 year old Yulia Loshagina was found in woodland, her neck broken and face and hands disfigured by burning. Her wounds were so severe that her body could only be identified by DNA tests. 

There were claims based on medical evidence and heard in court  that she had been violently raped shortly before her death, though prosecutors did not accuse Loshagin of sexually attack his wife, nor produce any evidence as to the alleged rapist's identity.  

The couple was well known in Yekaterinburg: he is a leading fashion photographer and his wife was well-known as a model who frequently appeared on the covers of glamour magazines. They frequently travelled to foreign countries for photo shoots.  

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

The couple was well known in Yekaterinburg: he is a leading fashion photographer and his wife was well-known as a model who frequently appeared on the covers of glamour magazines. Pictures: Dmitry Loshagin, URA.ru

Prosecutors claimed that Loshagin and his wife quarrelled at a party held in their loft apartment in Yekaterinburg on the night of 22 and 23 August 2013. They claimed he kicked her before grabbing her neck and twisting her neck.

An earlier version citing state investigators held that he pushed her down the stairs, breaking her neck, and hid Yulia's body under the stairs before returning to the party as if nothing had happened, claimed prosecutors. 

The following day, he placed her body in a trunk and took it to the woods near  Pervouralsk some 50 km from Yekaterinburg. Allegedly, he doused the body with petrol and set it on fire. Here he is alleged to have used his phone which helped investigators to link him to the crime scene, the court was told. 

As the investigation unfolded it was marked by lurid and contradictory claims which were evidently leaked to newspapers. 

One was that police were probing a claim that he had killed her because she had infected him with AIDS. She was healthy when she died and Loshagin was not infected. 

Another was that she died during a bizarre sex session with Loshagin, but again there was no evidence for this. 

Yet another version was that Yulia was killed by a professional assassin hired by an alleged lover, an elderly local bureaucrat.  However, no hard evidence was given for this. 

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

'I had a difficult year. I endured my wife's death, horrific accusations, betrayal and humiliation. I spent 15 and a half months in prison.' Pictures: Dmitry Loshagin, URA.ru

'The killer - a former security official - penetrated to that party  under the guise of a guest,' an anonymous source was quoted as saying. 'In the bathroom professional killer with one movement turned Yulia's head and broke her neck. 

'The killer had an accomplice who helped take away the dead girl, as if she was drunk. None of the party-goers paid attention to it. Everyone was already pretty drunk, including Dmitry.'

Yulia's family claimed this version was a smokescreen, and it was evidently not taken seriously by the court,  but the anonymous source said a number of factors showed why it was an attempt to frame Loshagin.

'Firstly, they stole Loshagin's cell-phone (then later tossed it back), and turned it on twice at the site where the body was dumped,' he said. 'Secondly, corpse deliberately burned incompletely to the experts did not have to mess around in identifying her.

'Thirdly, the law enforcement authorities received a tip - where to look for the corpse.'

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

Urals Carmen, who was she: the drug dealer, or the high-rank lover, or just innocent victim of her husband's blind fury? Pictures: Dmitry Loshagin

In a sensational verdict on 25 December, judge Eduard Izmaylov criticised the reliability of the evidence against Logashin, and freed him. The verdict was immediately criticised by Yulia's mother Svetlana Ryabova, who said: 'I will file an appeal. I believe Loshagin killed my daughter.'

Spokesman for the Investigative Committee Alexander Shulga said: 'The investigation still insists on Dmitri Loshagin's guilt. But I can't comment on the Investigation Committee's course of actions.'

Logashin insisted that he had told investigators his suspicions over who murdered his wife and hid her body. 'But they didn't pay attention to them. As an investigator said to me: 'According to our statistics, as a rule, a husband kills. So, you'll be in jail.'

He claimed that at the party he overheard his wife take a call from a mystery man who he assumed to be her lover, and agree to meet at Moscovsky Trakt camping, near the forest where he body was later found. 

He decided not to make a scandal at the party but to speak to her afterwards. However, she left without talking to him. He searched her suitcase and found some white powder which, he claims, he emptied into the toilet, leaving no traces. 

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

He claimed that at the party he overheard his wife take a call from a mystery man who he assumed to be her lover. Pictures: URA.ru, Facebook

According to his version, his wife was carrying cocaine for a gang but 'something went wrong, and Yulia was killed'. He said: 'After Julia did not return home on 23 August, I went a couple of times to this camping place at Moskvsky Trakt. I was looking for her. I showed her photos to the guards, and cafe staff. But my search gave no results.'

This is why his phone was located in the area. 

In court, he pleaded to the judge: 'People often make conclusions and then start looking for the evidence. That's what the prosecutor's committee did, accusing me for the crime but we haven't seen the evidence. 

'There was psychological pressure not only on me but also on my friends who were asked not to give testimonies..... If I was the prosecutor who see his case falling apart, I would have quashed the charges. But the system can't accept its faults. I hope for your wisdom. I had a difficult year. 

'I endured my wife's death, horrific accusations, betrayal and humiliation. I spent 15 and a half months in prison. I simply want to get back to my normal life.'

Yulia's mother and brother Mikhail claimed that Loshagin was 'constantly changing his story' after she disappeared. They were frantically looking for her, but claimed he declined to help. 

Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case


Dmitry Loshagin case

Yulia's mother and brother Mikhail are sure that Loshagin is the murderer. Svetlana Ryabova in the court (top). Mikhail Ryabov with Yulia Prokopyeva (bottom). Pictures: URA.ru, Mikhail Ryabov

When her corpse was found, he said he could not attend the identification because he was at a 'presentation' of his photographs. Yulia's mother told reporters after the verdict that an appeal would include a claim omitted from his trial that Loshagin confessed to police in Pervouralsk.

'At the police station, the police office he said that he pushed my daughter. She fell, he hit her head against the wall and broke her neck. 

'Moreover, Dima (Dmitry) also told how he lit the fire, showed how he dragged her body through the forest, and burned Yulia's face. And this moment was recorded by the police on a voice recorder.'

28-year-old Yulia Prokopieva-Loshagina was found dead in August 2013. The mystery of her murder remains unsolved. Picture: Dmitry Loshagin

Dmitry Loshagin case


Comments (7)

Dmitry had filmed my wedding in Yekaterinburg, yet I know little of his besides his photographic prowess.
I will say however, while "crimes of passion" are not forgivable, even in this country hold less gravity.
Michael DeWys, Phoenix/USA
12/05/2017 20:33
0
0
Mr Loshagin is a ugly men and a murder!
Lukas, Zurich
08/03/2015 22:17
2
1
What a cowardly act. He was seen assaulting her in a public place. Any man that hits a woman is a coward.
Margaret, USA
05/01/2015 00:40
2
1
I don't believe the husbands drug story...I do believe there could have being a row that went terribly wrong. In this case the truth will out, I have no doubt. The case should be kept alive & on file...& investigations go on. Murderers usually make a "Slip-up"!
Jaker, Dundalk.
31/12/2014 20:03
1
1
There are too many stories with this beautiful young woman's murder....I hope her Mom proceeds with her quest on finding out the truth...such a sad story!












Diana, Toronto,Canada
29/12/2014 13:05
3
1
what is the truth, the murder only knows. and as well what is the reason to kill a human? this is crazy. hopefully some day the truth comes to the light and those who are quilty'll serve years in a prison,

and olga.... I agree what you are writing.
john, finland
29/12/2014 03:42
2
0
Would be interesting to see if they finally find who killed the girl.
Olga, Yekaterinbyrg
26/12/2014 17:05
3
2
1

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