Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | December 18, 2012
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Judge, 3 family members beheaded
KIEV (AP):Ukrainian police are investigating the grisly murder of a judge and three family members whose decapitated bodies were discovered over the weekend in the judge's apartment, officials yesterday.

The beheaded bodies of Judge Volodymyr Trofimov, 58, his wife, son and the son's girlfriend were discovered by the judge's stepson, who came to visit the family Saturday in their apartment in the eastern city of Kharkiv, federal officials said.

The heads are still missing, Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko said.

Investigators believe the slayings could either be related to Trofimov's work or to his renowned antique collection, Interior Ministry Spokesman Serhiy Burlakov said.

There were no obvious signs of a break-in and police believe that two perpetrators had carefully prepared for the crime, Zakharchenko said. Authorities have promised a 200,000 hryvna ($24,000) reward for those with information that would help track down the killers.

Trofimov has ruled in several thousand cases during his 30-year career as a judge and the slayings took place on a national Ukrainian holiday for judges.

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