February 26, 2006, in Moscow, Russia
Medical experts determined that Zimin probably died around 3 p.m. the day before, February 26, as a result of head trauma. The Moscow city prosecutor opened a murder investigation. A laptop computer and cell phone were stolen from the apartment, and a bloody fingerprint belonging to someone other than the victim was found on a light switch, local news outlets reported.
Authorities said the killing was probably not related to Zimin's work at NTV. Prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev said the murder was most likely a common crime resulting from an argument. He said there was no sign of forced entry, suggesting that Zimin knew his assailant, according to press reports.
NTV News Editor Tatyana Mitkova said she did not rule out the possibility that the murder was linked to Zimin's work for the station, the news Web site Polit reported. Zimin worked as a correspondent for NTV's investigative program "Profession: Reporter." Colleague Vadim Takmenev said Zimin had recently used hidden cameras to prepare an exposé of health violations at expensive Moscow restaurants, Polit reported.
Authorities did not immediately identify a suspect, according to the Moscow daily Kommersant. A concierge at Zimin's apartment building initially reported that three men with police identifications visited the reporter at 10 a.m. on February 26 and left an hour later, but authorities said they determined the three had visited another apartment in the building, according to Kommersant.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.
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