Pianist’s estranged wife charged with killing 2 daughters

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The estranged wife of pianist Vadym Kholodenko was accused by Texas police Monday of killing their two young daughters before stabbing herself. | Joyce Marshall/Star-Telegram via AP

DALLAS — The estranged wife of internationally renowned pianist Vadym Kholodenko was accused by Texas police Monday of killing their two young daughters before stabbing herself.

Sofya Tsygankova faces two counts of capital murder in the deaths of 5-year-old Nika Kholodenko and 1-year-old Michela Kholodenko. Police say the two girls were found dead in their beds in their home in Benbrook, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. They say Tsygankova was found in an “extreme state of distress.”

Benbrook police Cmdr. David Babcock said Monday that Tsygankova was served with the arrest warrants in the Fort Worth hospital where she is undergoing a mental health evaluation. Authorities had said earlier that she suffered knife wounds.

It’s not clear how the girls died. Autopsies are being done.

An attorney for Tsygankova did not immediately return phone and email messages for comment Monday.

The Ukranian-born Kholodenko won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth in 2013, beating about 30 finalists from 12 countries.

Kholodenko and Tsygankova married in 2010 and filed for divorce in November, according to Tarrant County court records. Kholodenko no longer lived at the home with Tsygankova and their daughters, but routinely picked up the children from the home in the mornings.

BY NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press

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