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The Murder of Ira Yarmolenko

[A version of the following was first posted to the True Crime Tumblelog. I decided it was more appropriate to this site.]

UNC Charlotte student Irina “Ira” Yarmolenko has been found murdered in Mt. Holly, NC. The pretty 20-year-old student’s body lay beside the Catawba River, her vehicle close by. The Ukrainian-born Yarmolenko had lived most of her life in the U.S. She was a writer, poet, and photographer.

Readers of Dreamin’ Demon have turned up Ira Yarmolenko’s online journal:

http://a-new-pen.greatestjournal.com/;

Her photobucket account: CtrlCopy;

and her Facebook: Ira_Yarmolenko.

I found what may have been Yarmolenko’s running profile at FavoriteRun.com.

Death has no sense of fair play. And it is perhaps wrong that we take notice sometimes of a particular death if it is violent, if the victim was young, and beautiful.

If I get a glimpse of what the victim was like in life it sometimes stings, no matter how objective I’m supposed to be. That brief vision lodges in my head, unsettling me.

Ira Yarmolenko was unique. Of course I didn’t know her, but I feel certain she was special. In a blog entry posted on 8/17/2006, Yarmolenko wrote the following — the passage supports my feeling that a bright spark has been extinguished:

this is me swimming in de nile. this is me being hyrogliphic (sic). this is me, trying a balancing act of trying to figure out what to do for the rest of my life, and how not to complain, and how to get excelent grades, and how to keep my family intact. it is not my job, of course, but someone has got to do it. this is me thinking about how to be someone worthy of my own respect…

Authorities say Yarmolenko was asphyxiated. The investigation is ongoing.

This post will be updated and revised.

[Big hat-tip to Morbid, Imp, etc. at DD.]