A man has allegedly confessed to murdering his former model wife before dismembering her body and dumping her remains in a river.
'Jealous' Alexander Popov, 36, a deputy head of Moscow’s underground train network, told police that catwalk star Ksenia Popova, 30, had vanished after going on holiday to Dubai.
It has been alleged that he then impersonated her on Instagram to try to convince friends and family that she was still alive.
But law enforcement checks showed the ex-model – previously known as Ksenia Sapozhkova – had not gone abroad, and checks of the mobile phone network showed that her phone was close to home when it was last used.
When he was questioned by police, Popov allegedly confessed that he had killed before cutting up the beauty queen’s corpse and depositing body parts in a river.
He put stones in black plastic bags containing the human remains, according to police reports. Divers have yet to find Ksenia's remains.
Earlier, the Metro executive reportedly sent messages to her friends on social media pretending to be her, assuring them she was on vacation.
He also claimed she had left Dubai to go on a trip to Africa with pals. Popov has since retracted his confession but is being held pending further investigation.
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His wife had been Miss Kuzbass 2010, and was later a contestant in the Miss Russia pageant.
A law enforcement source told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper: “He and his wife had a big quarrel, as Popov explains. Allegedly he was jealous of her.
“He hit Ksenia on her head several times.
“Realising that his wife had died, he decided to get rid of her body. Their daughter had been in the next room at the time of their row.
“Popov took the child to friends for several days.
“Returning home, he dismembered his wife’s body, packed it in black garbage bags and took it out of the city.
“Having tied stones to the bags, he threw the remains of the former Miss Kuzbass into the Desna River."
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Reports say Popov had taken their young daughter Yesenia, six, to his wife’s parents in Siberia because he could not cope with looking after her alone.
He sold the family home where he had lived with the beauty queen, and disposed of her car, it's reported.
The couple had married seven years ago after Popov split with his first wife. REN TV reports that after Ksenia disappeared, the Metro boss had returned to his first wife.
One of Ksenia's friends said she had become suspicious about the mother-of-one’s continued absence.
“But she seemed to get in touch on Instagram, answered my direct messages, and posted new photos," said the friend.
“This calmed me, and I didn’t even notice right away that the replies had odd spelling errors that seemed unusual for her, and inconsistent endings.
“But on all the questions she answered that everything was fine.
“And then the criminal investigator called me and said that Ksenia’s husband was detained on suspicion of murder, and that he had already confessed to everything.”
Popov has been formally detained for two months on suspicion of murdering the beauty queen according to law enforcement sources.
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