Suicide of Bulgarian Teen Murder Suspect Hurdles Trial

Crime | January 20, 2012, Friday // 13:30|  views

According to unconfirmed reports, a former policeman has emerged as a 3rd suspect in the murder of a young woman in Bulgaria's Pernik. The picture shows Mario Lyubenov being led to the courtroom. Photo by BGNES

The suspect in the kidnapping and gruesome murder of a Bulgarian teen girl, Stoycho Stoev, who committed suicide, had never been interrogated before a magistrate.

The information was reported Friday by the Pernik Regional Prosecutor, Plamen Naydenov.

The news means that Stoev's confession and testimony, on which is based the investigation of the other kidnapping and murder suspect, Mario Lyubenov AKA The Rabbit, most likely will not be used in Court as evidence. According to the Penal Code, since Stoev, who led the police to place where the body was buried, is now dead, his testimony cannot be used during the trial against Luybenov.

Miroslava Nikolova, 17, from the western city of Pernik, near Sofia, was kidnapped in November and her body was discovered by the police 65 days later. Two men were arrested as suspects. One of them – Stoev AKA Chocho, according to the police, had made confessions and implicated his accomplice as the physical perpetrator of the murder.

Chocho, however, committed suicide before the eyes of highly-trained policemen when he got hold on a gun during the search of his apartment.

The other suspect – Lyubenov is listed in a Sofia psychiatry ward to be tested for schizophrenia.

Naydenov further informed that Miroslava's cause of death is mechanical asphyxiation, but refused to confirm that a metal rope has been used, as some media reported. The Prosecutor said there was no evidence that the girl was raped or that her neck was broken or that she had other severe injuries. The 19 ordered DNA reports are ready, he says.

It was announced meanwhile, that the Pernik Regional Court ruled Friday to extend by 20 days the deadline for the expert report on Lyubenov's condition.

He was reportedly a classmate of Borislav – boyfriend of Miroslava's sister, Eleonora. The girl was kidnapped because Borislav recently inherited a large amount of money and the perps planned to ask him for ransom. They told police they killed Miroslava because they had no means to take care of her.

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