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The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has reopened the investigation into the criminal case over the shooting of the last czar's family
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has reopened the investigation into the criminal case over the shooting of the last czar's family, in connection with the finding of the remains near Yekaterinburg believed to belong to Prince Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria. "The Prosecutor General's Office decided to reopen the investigation into the criminal case opened over the fact of the fining of the royal family remains in 1991," a prosecutor told Itar-Tass. On July 29, fragments of two bodies were found in a 60-centimeter-deep pit, including teeth and pieces of cranium, pelvis and tubular bones. Three bullets, part of a smashed glazed ceramic vessel, much charcoal and tiny bits of bone tissue were found as well. The findings were part of the efforts to find the second secret burial site of the Romanov family's remains. The remains of the two people supposedly belong to a child aged 10 to 14 and a young woman, some 20 years of age. A group of forensic prosecutors is on their way to the scene. The fragments, in outward appearance, bear signs of firearm-related damage. All the bones show signs of burning and impact from aggressive substances. The version under consideration at present is that the remains belong to Prince Alexei and Grand Duchess May, shot to death overnight from July 16 to July 17, 1918 in Yekaterinburg. The identification will be carried by the regional forensic bureau. The Romanov family: Russia's last czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their children - Prince Alexei and four Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatyana, Maria and Anastasia were shot to death in the Ipatyev house in Yekaterinburg overnight to July 17, 1918. The Bolsheviks also killed their attendants: doctor Botkin, housemaid Demidova, cook Kharitonov and footman Trupp. The remains of Nicholas II, his wife, three daughters and another four persons were found near Yekaterinburg under the fill of the Staraya Koptyakovskaya road in July 1991. They all were identified and re-buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17, 1998. According to the organizer of the shooting and burial of the royal family members Yakov Yurovsky, the bodies of the prince and one of the women were burnt, while the unburt remains were buried in a pit not far from the burial site of nine people. Excavations have been carried out regularly in the Ganina Yama area and the Staraya Koptyakovskaya road since 1991. "In all, they handed over to us 44 fragments, but it's difficult to tell which parts of the skeleton they belong to. We have to ascertain whose remains they are, male or female, and find out the degree of kinship," regional forensic bureau chief Nikolai Nevolin told Itar-Tass on Friday. "We know that Prince Alexei suffered from hemophilia, so we'll have to detect the genome of this disease. Next, we'll carry out a ballistic text to compare the bullets with those found at the first burial site. I'd say there's a resemblance, but we'll have to compare groove marks. Only then, using a total of all the data, one will be able to draw a logical conclusions whose remains they are," Nevolin said. The research and production center for the protection of monuments of the Sverdlovsk region said in a press release earlier on Friday that the remains might belong to two member of the royal family.
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