NEWS

Private Funeral Service For Murdered Russian Couple

Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and Natalya Gerasimova were yesterday given a private funeral service. This is just over a year after they were murdered in one of the most bizarre
21 Jul 2017 11:00
Private Funeral Service For Murdered Russian Couple
Friends and family members carry a coffin into the Greek Orthodox Church at Saweni in Lautoka yesterday during the memorial service for Yuri Shipulin and Natalya Gerasimova. Photo: Charles Chambers

Russian couple Yuri Shipulin and Natalya Gerasimova were yesterday given a private funeral service.

This is just over a year after they were murdered in one of the most bizarre and so far unsolved cases in Fiji’s crime history.

Family members, with Mr Shipulin’s mother, who had flown in from Russia, and around six close friends attended a private service at the Greek Orthodox Church in Saweni, Lautoka.

A coffin was carried into the church and later buried in a private ceremony at an undisclosed location. It could not be established whether the coffin contained the body parts that were discovered at Natadola Beach following the couple’s disappearance.

The Fiji Sun, the only media present, was asked not to attend the service and was asked to leave by one of the family friends.

Mr Shipulin and Ms Gerasimova went missing after leaving their farm at Kachiqari, off the road leading to Nausori Highlands in Nadi after midday on June 16 in 2016.

The only sighting of them was through a Police report that they were seen at Denarau having a few drinks the same day.

Their disappearance was reported by their business partner and fellow Russian, Andrew Luzanenko, who also lived with them on the farm.

Police recovered the couple’s abandoned vehicle, registration ‘PILOT’ on the evening of June 17.

Interpol was contacted as there were suggestions they may have boarded a yacht anchored offshore and left the country.

On June 24, a pair of feet were found, confirmed, according to Police, by DNA, to be that of Mr Shipulin.

Two days later, the second pair, believed to be that of Ms Gerasimova were found.

A decapitated head, later confirmed through DNA by Police as that of Mr Shipulin, was found wrapped in the same type of netting as the pairs of feet were found previously at Natadola Beach on August 3 by a New Zealand couple.

On September 20, a Police dive team discovered what was believed to be a body part of Ms Gerasimova.

The body part was severed from below the navel and just above both knees.

The dive team recovered the wrapping which contained the body part at a section of the reef, not far from where it was spotted a couple of nights earlier.

A villager while night diving for fish that night had came across the wrapping stuck at the bottom of the reef.

The distinct feature that stood out with all three finds were that they had similar wrappings in green netting, stones to weigh down the parts and similar blue coloured fishing line that held the wrapping together.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

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