Authorities in the southern city of Saratov identified the suspect in Yevgeny Gerasimenko’s murder as “Sergei F,” a 39-year-old homeless man with a criminal record including theft and robbery. The suspect, whose last name was not disclosed, is charged with the journalist’s murder.
According to the weekly Saratovskaya Oblastnaya Gazeta, police say the suspect was drawn to the victim’s apartment after seeing a radio on a window sill on the evening of July 25. The suspect allegedly crawled through a kitchen window but was confronted by Gerasimenko.
The suspect allegedly overpowered Gerasimenko, tied the journalist with tape, and covered his nose and mouth, according to Saratovskaya Oblastnaya Gazeta. The suspect allegedly told authorities that he did not intend to kill the journalist. He allegedly stole Gerasimenko’s computer, compact discs, tape recorder, iron, and cell phone worth 30,000 rubles (US$1,125).
At dawn, the suspect told police he carried five cardboard boxes filled with stolen items out of Gerasimenko’s apartment, without being noticed by neighbors, and took a taxi back to the construction site, where he worked, according to Saratovskaya Oblastnaya Gazeta.
Local police arrested the suspect on Sunday evening in an abandoned railway car. Police told local press that the suspect was listening to Gerasimenko’s radio at the time of his arrest. Saratovskaya Oblastnaya Gazeta reported that the suspect sold the other items.
According to previous reports, investigators stated the suspect had been drinking with friends before the murder. Police stated that the suspect intended to rob Gerasimenko’s apartment to buy more alcohol.
Gerasimenko, 29, had been working for Saratovsky Rasklad, a weekly that publishes business and political-related analyses and investigation. Prior to his death, Gerasimenko had been investigating the corporate takeover of a local commercial enterprise. Colleagues said he could have been killed for his work.