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Monday, July 15, 2024

Woman escapes from ‘maniac’ after 14 years in captivity

She was able to flee when the man was placed in a mental institution, the Russian Investigative Committee says

A resident of Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region allegedly kept a woman hostage for 14 years, while killing another female he had held, the local branch of the Investigative Committee said Monday. According to media reports, the suspect’s mother helped the woman escape.

Investigators said that in the fall of 2009, the suspect brought the woman – a local resident – to a private house “under the pretext of drinking alcohol” and had kept her there ever since. This year, “after an exacerbation of mental illness, the man was taken to a medical institution and the woman was able to leave the household in which she was kept,” the statement reads.

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According to media reports, the victim, who was 19 years old when she was kidnapped, managed to escape on Saturday. The following day, police arrived in the Urals village of Smolino and searched a house belonging to 50-year-old Vladimir Cheskidov and his elderly mother Valentina.

The victim – named by some media outlets as “Yekaterina B.” – told reporters that Cheskidov beat and raped her all the years she was held in captivity. She also said that there was another female prisoner in the house, who the man killed after a quarrel in 2011. The suspect, branded by Russian media as “the Smolino maniac,” stabbed his victim several times and then finished her off with a nail puller, she claimed.

Later on Monday, the Investigative Committee announced that a murder case had been launched against the suspect in addition to an earlier kidnapping case. The agency said that human remains were discovered in the yard outside the man’s home.

The residents of Smolino told journalists that they rarely saw Cheskidov outside and that his mom told them that he was away in Moscow or elsewhere. The locals insisted that Valentina knew about what her son was doing and covered for him. But a source told RT that the mother actually suspected nothing and thought ‘Yekaterina’ was Cheskidov’s girlfriend. According to some reports, Valentina was the one who eventually helped her escape.

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Cheskidov, who is currently at a mental institution, has been placed under the supervision of the police, according to the Investigative Committee.