Mother who bought chocolate before brutally murdering her two children jailed for 19 years
A Russian mother who was caught on camera buying her two young children a Snickers bar as a last snack before she killed them, has been sentenced to 19 years in jail. 27-year-old Instagram cosmetics queen, Elena Karimova, had suffocated her 4-year-old daughter Khadizha and 2-year-old son Suleiman in the back seat of the Kia Rio she had rented. Only minutes before committing the vile act, Karimova was spotted on the surveillance cameras of a gas station buying the chocolate bar for her children, as well as barbecue lighter fluid, which she used later to incinerate their bodies in the woods.
Two hunters who were passing by the area in the woods, saw the mother burning what they thought were dolls. The Daily Mail reported that the men believed the "strange woman" was a "witch or psychic".
Karimova, who has over 27,000 subscribers to her online sales business, had initially confessed to brutally murdering her children, but she later claimed that there were two mystery men from Azerbaijan who killed her children because she would not reveal the location of her ex-husband.
The court in Nizhny Novgorod dismissed the mother's account as fantasy and she was sentenced to 19 years in jail. The surveillance footage captured the chilling moment Karimova paid in advance for the fuel plus the Snickers bar and barbecue lighter fuel. She was then seen walking back to her hired car, in which her two "beloved" children sat, and drove away towards the woodland area where she strangled the children as they sat on her knee in the back seat of the vehicle.
Judge Alexey Zavarikhin told the court: "Karimova covered her daughter's mouth with her hand. She suffocated her daughter until she stopped twitching and resisting. The son at that time was sitting and watching how she killed his sister." After she killed the children, Karimova reportedly "searched for a place where she could burn the bodies".
The two hunters who saw Karimova make a fire and mistook her for a witch, Alexander Voronnikov and Roman Melnikov, denied that there were any men with the mother at the time. Voronnikov said: "We thought that there dolls in the fire. When we passed, the woman tried to hide her face."
The judge then said that the footprints in the snow, as well as the CCTV footage, showed the mother was clearly alone with her two children in the rental car and when she burned the bodies. When she became afraid that the hunters suspected her, she put the charred remains of her children into the car and drove home. She drove to an abandoned warehouse the next day where she dumped the bodies and set the building on fire. This almost completely destroyed the human remains there.
When she was detained by the authorities, she initially confessed to the killing by saying: "I couldn't provide for my children." She also said in her first court appearance: "I'm very sorry for what happened. I do not even know how I could go about this. I lived with my husband, and then we divorced and it became difficult to raise children."
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that in spite of all the so-called financial problems, Karimova spent almost $620 a month on car rentals and even went on foreign holidays.
Family members and friends were left completely shocked and said that her actions were "totally out of character". They refused to believe that she was capable of something like this.
Natalia Testenkova, Karimova's mother, said that she was "the most loving mum". She added: "How could she kill her kids?" Law enforcement officials said that she went through psychiatric tests and was found to be sane. In her final address before being sent to prison, Karimova said in the court: "I am accused of the most inhuman crime a woman can commit - the cruel murder of my children."
She stood by her claim that she let "the real killers escape and took the blame myself". Prosecutors in the trial had called for a 21-year sentence but the judge said that the mother would be in prison until the year 2038, which is 19 years.