Husband arrested for murdering Russian beauty queen

Alexander Popov kept his dead wife’s social media updated for months after he allegedly killed her

A Russian beauty queen who was reported missing earlier this year was murdered by her husband after a domestic dispute, a Moscow court heard on Monday. Alexander Popov was remanded in custody after admitting to taking his wife’s life, before later retracting his confession.

On January 10, according to the Russian media, Popov contacted the police about the apparent disappearance of his wife, Kseniya Popova (née Sapozhnikova), claiming that she had gone to Dubai. From the UAE, she took a boat trip to South Africa, after which she went missing, he claimed, stating that she was no longer replying to his Instagram messages.

As a young adult, Popova was a celebrated beauty queen, and was crowned the winner of Miss Kuzbass 2010. Born in Novokuznetsk, in Siberia, she also sought to represent her city in Miss Russia 2011. She moved to Moscow with her husband two years ago, after her husband found a job working for the Moscow Metro.  He had previously served as a government official in their hometown.

Ksenia Sapozhkova, Novokuznetsk, 19 years old

©  Doronchenko Andrey, Novokuznetsk.

After Popov went to the police in January, investigators discovered that his wife had never left Russia. The woman’s phone, according to the billing data, also remained in Moscow. After interviewing her relatives, the law enforcement officers were told that the messages they had received from her were not written in her usual style, putting suspicion on the husband.

The police became even more suspicious when they discovered that he had sent his daughter to a friend’s house for a couple of days in August, while, at the same time, he was seen taking huge garbage bags out of the house. It was also discovered that he sold his apartment and car, which the detectives just wanted to search.

Ksenia Sapozhkova, Novokuznetsk, 19 years old

©  Viktor Gagarin

In court, according to the press, Popov confessed to the murder, stating that he killed his wife during a domestic quarrel, and disposed of her remains in a river. To keep suspicion quiet, he kept her social media active for months. He later retracted his confession.

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