An already strange Russian murder probe took a further twist on Tuesday, when police investigating the crossbow killing of a business magnate known as “the Sausage King” discovered an elderly man chained to a bedpost in a suspect’s flat.
Police said they discovered the pensioner along with another man, who was apparently holding him captive to force him to hand over property.
The discovery suggests that suspects in the killing of meat magnate Vladimir Marugov could be connected to “fraudulent activities regarding apartments in Moscow,” the Russian investigative committee said.
The pensioner handcuffed to the bed may have been “under the influence of some kind of psychotropic substance,” official Olga Vradiy told Russian media, adding that he had been taken to hospital.
Police took the other man in for questioning.
Masked attackers broke into Mr Marugov’s estate outside Moscow on Monday, tying the businessman and his wife up with rope in their sauna.
Mr Marugov’s wife managed to escape and call the police, but by the time they arrived he had been shot dead with a crossbow and the attackers had fled.
Police discovered an empty car nearby, containing crossbows and masks. They later arrested a 49-year-old man from Kazakhstan in connection with the case, though his accomplices remain at large.
A police source told the Interfax news agency that the arrested suspect was known to Mr Marugov’s ex-wife Tatyana Marugova, with whom he had publicly feuded. A lawyer for Mrs Marugova said his client had been questioned as part of the investigation.
Mrs Margurova, a published poet, alleged in 2018 that her former husband had threatened her over the terms of their divorce settlement. Their son died in a motorbike accident last year.
Mr Marugov, 54, was the owner of a string of meat processing plants in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
The businessman’s current wife said the assailants had demanded money from the pair. Attacks on prominent businessmen were common in Russia in the 1990s but have become rarer in the decades since President Vladimir Putin came to power.