Wife of Famed Pianist Charged With Murder in Deaths of Their Children, Aged 1 and 5
The wife of famed concert pianist Vadym Kholodenko has been charged with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of their children ages 1 and 5, Texas authorities announced Monday.
Sofya Tsygankova, 31, has been hospitalized since Thursday with stab wounds, which police now say were self-inflicted. She has not yet been arraigned. Bail was set at $2 million.
Kholodenko, 29, is not a suspect in the case, said Benbrook Police Cmdr. David Babcock.
The father arrived Thursday morning to pick up his daughters, 5-year-old Nika and baby Michela, only to find them dead in their beds and his estranged wife in an “extreme state of distress” with several stab wounds, police said.
Kholodenko called 911.
The famed pianist won the prestigious Cliburn competition and moved from Moscow with his wife and Nika, then 4, in 2014. He filed for divorce in August 2015.
BREAKING: Wife of Van-Cliburn winning pianist Vadym Kholodenko charged with capital murder for death of daughters pic.twitter.com/hX4zAdOn3s— Sarah Mervosh (@smervosh) March 21, 2016
The exact cause of death for the children has not been established, Babcock said at Monday’s press conference. But their slayings were the result of “homicidal violence,” he said.
Authorities said last week the children did not have visible signs of physical trauma and looked as though they were asleep in their beds.
“The loss of my children will be with me forever. But I would like to say that I feel the support of the Fort Worth community and all people who are sending me messages all over the world,” the father said in a statement Friday.
Tsygankova, also a concert pianist, had given up work to stay home with her children.