A man who was arrested in Russia in 2010 is believed to have murdered at least eight women throughout the country over a span of five years, prosecutors said on Wednesday. He faces life imprisonment if convicted.
The suspect, identified only as Sergey Martynov, is believed to have begun a series of violent crimes in 2005 and moved through more than 10 regions of Russia before he was finally caught by authorities in 2010. He has been charged with intentional infliction of a grave injury, hooliganism, murder of two or more persons, and violent sexual actions.
"The investigators have established circumstances of 8 murders committed by Martynov," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee. "[The] absolute majority of Martynov's victims were women, as well as two minor girls, against one of which Martynov had committed violent sexual actions and inflicted grave injuries to another."
Martynov was previously convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1992 and served nearly 14 years in prison before he was released in 2005. He was placed on a wanted list shortly after his release for attacking a young girl in Kemerovo, a city in Kemerovo Oblast, but was able to evade police for years.
"Acting daringly and cynically, he didn't try to conceal evidence and even left letters at crime scenes, [and he] expertly hid from law enforcement officials until [he] was caught in 2010," said Markin. "The investigators have collected enough evidence and the case is forwarded for the bill of particulars to be approved and then will be sent in the court to be considered on merits."
Russian investigators had not publicly disclosed the serial killings before Wednesday.