Police reportedly tracked down the husband and wife after finding a cellphone with photos of a woman's dismembered body.
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A pair of Russians dubbed the country's "cannibal couple" allegedly murdered up to 30 people beginning in 1999, dismembering and consuming their victims' body parts, CNN reports.
Earlier this month, a construction worker in Krasnodar—a southern region of Russia about five hours from Sochi—found a cellphone while repairing a local road, according to Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs. Scrolling through the photos, he reportedly discovered a handful of selfies of a man posing with dismembered body parts—including the head and wrists of a woman. According to CNN, police uncovered the dead woman's remains in a bag near the site of the found cell phone the next day.
Cops were reportedly able to use the phone's SIM card to track down the alleged owner: 35-year-old Dmitry Baksheev, an employee at a state-run military aviation school, the Daily Mail reports. They detained Baksheev and his wife, Natalia, who are accused of kidnapping, killing, and eating up to 30 people—a string of cannibalistic murders allegedly dating back the late 90s, Russian news outlet RIA Novosti reports.
Several Russian media outlets— including the state-sponsored RT—allege police found packs of body parts, samples of human skin, and pickled human remains at the couple's home, as well as photos of severed heads and limbs. Russia's Investigative Committee reportedly told RT police had also found "frozen meat of unknown origin in the kitchen," and are trying to determine "whether the meat found belongs to a human or animal." According to RIA Novosti, cops also discovered "a glass jar with a canned hand" at the home.
CNN reports that police have identified seven victims so far after searching the couple's home, but Dmitry Baksheev has apparently only admitted to committing two murders—that of the woman photographed on the phone and an additional 2012 killing. Natalia Smyatskaya, an official with the Krasnodar Investigative Committee, told the Daily Mail the official criminal investigation is focused on one woman's death, and that the other alleged murders are "being checked by our officers."
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