A prominent professor of Russian history was charged with murder after being found in a river with a backpack containing a woman's cut arms.
Oleg Sokolov, professor of history at St. Petersburg State University, aged 63 and known for his reenactments of Napoleon Bonaparte, was removed from the Moika River in St. Petersburg on Saturday morning.
According to Russian media reports, authorities quoted by his information have either stumbled into the river while he was drunk, or jumped into a section of the river deep enough to allow a person to stand up for the purpose of throwing the body remains in his bag.
Passersby along the river heard her cries early in the morning, alerting the police to what would become a terrible discovery.
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The weapons allegedly found in Sokolov's backpack are likely to be those of his former student and sweetheart, Anastasia Yeschenko, 24 years old.
Authorities say they found his head and body decapitated in the apartment of Sokolov – a few houses from where he was taken out of the water.
Sokolov was questioned Sunday by police after hypothermia at Mariinsky hospital.
The Russian media, citing his lawyer Alexander Pochuev, said he had since signed a conviction, confessing the murder.
Sokolov told authorities that he had shot and killed Yeschenko during an argument Thursday, hiding the body behind a closed door while he was entertaining guests the next day, according to the Washington Post.
Yeschenko's head, arms and legs were also dismembered to try to get rid of his body more easily – an act Sokolov reportedly told the police made him so physically ill that he had to drink a lot to keep going, then announced the newspaper.
Sokolov then planned to go to the Peter and Paul fortress, a popular tourist destination, with the aim of committing suicide in a spectacular Sunday, disguised as Napoleon, according to the Guardian, which quoted local information.
Author of several books detailing the military conquest of Napoleon, Sokolov was particularly known for his work on French military history. He has already received the French Legion of Honor for his work.
His students told AFP that he was a talented speaker, but also a "monster" who asked his lover to address him as a "father". He and Yeschenko liked to wear costumes and Sokolov frequently dressed in Napoleon.
According to CNN, Russian news agencies also reported that investigating divers had found the remains of another person in the Moika River.
The Russian news agency TASS said the newly discovered remains had not yet been identified but that they would belong to a man. It is still unclear if they are related to Sokolov's case.
– with files from the Associated Press
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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