Three teenage girls who were studying at a medical college in western Russia have been brutally killed, local officials say. Their bodies were found after a fire and the suspect remains at large.
The gruesome discovery was made at around 4:45 a.m. on Thursday when a fire was extinguished at an apartment building in the city of Gai (also known as Gay) in Orenburg, a region which borders Kazakhstan.
“The bodies of two girls who lived in the apartment were found with signs of violent death,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a brief statement. “The body of a local woman with similar bodily injuries was found in the courtyard of the building.”
The state-run TASS news agency said the victims were 17, 18 and 19 years old and lived together in an apartment they rented. All three were students at a medical college.
It was initially reported that the girls were killed with an ax, but this was later denied. One official told the TASS news agency that the girls were killed with what appears to be a kitchen knife.
All three victims had numerous stab wounds in the chest and abdomen, TASS reported.
There was no word on a possible motive for the gruesome killings. Russia’s Investigative Committee said a criminal case had been initiated for three counts of murder and no arrests were immediately made.