Pianist’s Estranged Wife Charged With Killing Daughters in US

The estranged wife of world-renowned concert pianist Vadym Kholodenko has been charged with killing their two daughters in Texas, US officials say.

Authorities suspect Sofya Tsygankova last week killed one-year-old Michela and Nika, five, and stabbed herself at the family home near Fort Worth.

Ms Tsygankova, who is originally from Russia, now faces a mental evaluation. The charge can bring the death penalty.

Mr Kholodenko, a Ukrainian musician, is not a suspect, the officials say.

Last Thursday, Mr Kholodenko, 29, called emergency services after finding his 31-year-old estranged wife in an “extreme state of distress”, as well as the bodies of his two children.

The children were found in their beds in Benbrook with no visible signs of trauma. A post-mortem examination will determine the cause of death.

Ms Tsygankova, who also performed as a concert pianist, is currently being treated at local hospital.

On Monday, Benbrook police Commander David Babcock said: “We have probable cause, reason to believe that she committed the homicides.”

He added that police had collected physical evidence at the scene.

Mr Kholodenko won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth in 2013 and has performed with a number of major orchestras.

He married Ms Tsygankova in 2010. They moved to Fort Worth from Moscow in 2014.

The couple divorced in November, according to court records.

The children lived with their mother, but Mr Kholodenko would routinely pick up the girls from the home in the mornings, police said.

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