Threats, warning signs apparent in triple killing

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — The violent deaths of an immigrant mother and her two young children have Northern California’s Slavic community recalling a similar killing spree a decade ago. But this time, community leaders say the warnings were apparent.

Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 19, remained in custody Thursday. He faces formal murder charges Friday in killing his 23-year-old sister-in-law, Alina, 3-year-old niece, Emannuela, and 2-year-old nephew, Avenir.

Alina’s husband, Denis Bukhantsov, discovered a horrific scene at their duplex in Rancho Cordova, a suburb of Sacramento. Authorities have yet to identify the murder weapon except to describe it was consistent with ‘‘sharp force trauma.’’


Another child, 6-month-old Mark, was found unharmed in another part of the home.

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The gruesome case has parallels to that of Nikolay Soltys, a 27-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who was charged with killing his pregnant wife, his 3-year-old son, and four other relatives in Rancho Cordova in 2001. He was captured after a nationwide manhunt and later hanged himself in jail while awaiting trial.

Florin Ciuriuc, executive director of the Slavic Community Center of Sacramento, said unlike Soltys, who failed to get the right medication, Bukhantsov had a wide network of family, friends, and church leaders trying to help him recover from rampant drug use and abusive behavior.

Associated Press