The wife of a popular rapper who confessed to dismembering his body pleaded to her lawyer: “What have I done? What have I done?”
Marina Kukhal, 36, has been detained as Russian murder detectives investigate how the singer known as Andy Cartwright, 30 – real name Alexander Yushko – died.
She confessed to severing his limbs and keeping some body parts in her fridge – but state investigators say they have no proof yet from initial forensic tests she killed her husband.
Kukhal is being held “for her own protection” from his angry fans, according to one report citing Russian law enforcement.
Investigators fear Cartwright’s followers “may take revenge on her for the death of their idol”.
She has told police she found the singer dead from a drugs overdose at their elite St Petersburg apartment and did not want his followers to know he had died such an “inglorious” death.
Kukhal claimed her husband had started taking drugs after becoming depressed during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are also reports he had heart problems.
She aimed to dispose of the rapper’s body and then say he had gone missing.
She used a knife, hammer, hacksaw, plastic bowl and chopping board in dismembering him over four days, she told police.
Some human organs including the stomach were reported to be missing from the family flat.
The Russian Investigative Committee said it had sought the widow’s formal arrest on suspicion of murder despite the lack of concrete evidence.
Kukhal’s lawyer Irina Skurtu said: “The remains were kept in Alexander’s room (in black bin liners) and in a fridge.
“The smell was only in this room.
“She seemed to me absolutely sane, although very nervous, but she can be understood.
“She does not look to me like a mad drug addict.
“She explained the situation quite coherently, but kept repeating: ‘What have I done? What have I done?'”
Kukhal called in her lawyer and the police after realising she was “morally” and “psychologically” appalled about her plan to dismember her Ukrainian-born husband’s body, said Skurtu.
The lawyer claimed that if she is telling the truth, she has committed no crime in Russian law.
Forensic tests are underway to establish the cause of death.