19 Mar 2016

Pianist's ex-wife detained after deaths

11:30 am on 19 March 2016

Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko has found his two young daughters dead in their home in Texas, with his estranged wife sustaining multiple stab wounds.

Police in the Fort Worth suburb of Benbrook said Kholodenko, 29, was not considered a suspected in the deaths of his daughters, Nika, 5, and Michela, 1, who were discovered in their bedrooms early on Thursday.


Piano Photo: Public Domain

Their mother, 31-year-old Sofya Tsygankova, underwent surgery at a local hospital, police said.

She would be held for mental evaluation once she recovered from her physical injuries, police Commander David Babcock said.

Babcock said the police did not see any immediate threat to the community and were not actively searching for a suspect.

Kholodenko had an appointment to pick up the children on Thursday morning (Friday NZ time) from his estranged wife's home, he said.

"Once he arrived there, he found the mother in an extreme state of distress and discovered the children in their state," Babcock said.

Police previously said there were no signs of forced entry into the home and that they were investigating the case as a double homicide.

A cause of death had not been determined by the following morning. Police said the children had not been stabbed.

Vadym Kholodenko has so far not made any comment to the media about the incident.

In 2013, he won the gold medal in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

He was scheduled to have three shows with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra over the weekend, and a replacement had been named for him, the orchestra said.

Kholodenko and Tsygankova married in 2010, but filed for divorce last November, according to court records obtained by local media.

Police were called to the house twice in 2014 for undisclosed reasons, Babcock said.