Viktoria Marinova was a 30-year-old journalist in Bulgaria. Bulgarian officials say she was raped and killed on October 6, 2018 in the city of Ruse. It was not immediately clear if her work as an investigative reporter was connected to her violent death.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Marinova Was Beaten & Suffocated; Investigators Say The Alleged Killer’s DNA Was Recovered
Viktoria Marinova’s body was discovered on Saturday, October 6. She was found near a jogging path in a park near the Danube river. The BBC reported that Marinova had been beaten over the head and suffocated. The news outlet cited the Interior Minister, Mladen Marinov, as confirming as Marinova had been raped.
The Ruse regional prosecutor said that the journalist’s phone, keys and glasses had been taken from the scene. Clothing items were also missing.
What investigators did recover, however, was DNA. Officials will use that evidence to try to identify the killer. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that the “best criminologists were sent to Ruse, let’s not press them. A large amount of DNA had been obtained,” according to the Guardian.
2. The Murder Prompted Speculation About Whether Viktoria Marinova Was Killed For Her Reporting
Viktoria Marinova had recently begun working as a news anchor for a show called “Detector.” It aired on TVN, a television channel based in Ruse.
On September 30, just a few days before she was murdered, Marinova’s story about possible corruption involving European Union funds aired on the channel. She interviewed two Romanian journalists with the Romanian Rise Project. They had been looking into whether certain politicians and businessmen were engaged in fraud.
Government officials are unsure whether Marinova’s work as a journalist served as motivation for the murder. Chief prosector Sotir Tsatsarov said they are exploring every option. “We do not exclude that it was a random attack, we do not exclude that it was a premeditated attempt on her life.”
News outlets in Bulgaria have also pointed out that the park where Marinova was found is located near a psychiatric facility, according to the Washington Post. Investigators were looking into whether a patient could have been the perpetrator.
3. Marinova Began Working at the TV Station in February 2018
Police in Bulgaria are investigating the rape and murder of investigative journalist, Viktoria Marinova. pic.twitter.com/mYgUcueLYj
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 8, 2018
Viktoria Marinova began working for TVN in February 2018, according to her Facebook page. She was hired to work on “Detector,” a talk show dedicated to current affairs and politics. It was being relaunched and September 30 was the debut episode.
Prior to joining TVN, Marinova worked at a company called Networx. She was a secretary at the company, according to her LinkedIn page. The company shared an article about Marinova’s death. The headline, roughly translated, means “Goodbye, Viktoria.”
4. Viktoria Marinova Was a Mother