2 Sets of Feet Washed Ashore in Fiji; Now, a Head

Russian couple dismembered, perhaps by a missing chainsaw
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2016 9:27 AM CDT
Two Sets of Feet Washed Ashore in Fiji; Now, a Head
Yuri Shipulin and Nataliya Gerasimova.   (Facebook)

New Zealanders Graeme and Jan Bickley were on vacation in Fiji, strolling on the popular Natadola Beach when Graeme noticed a package wrapped in green cloth not far from shore, reports the BBC. "I scrambled in and grabbed hold, it was very, very heavy," he says. "I dropped it on the sand and you could hear there were rocks in it. I looked at the shape of it, and thought: 'This isn't looking good.'" The human head inside is just the latest body part to wash ashore in recent weeks. DNA tests confirmed two pairs of human feet found on the same beach—also wrapped and weighed down with rocks—came from a Russian couple, reported missing from their vegetable farm on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu on June 16, reports the Telegraph.

A vehicle belonging to Yuri Shipulin and Nataliya Gerasimova—who moved to Fiji in 2011, per the Guardian—was found at Natadola Beach shortly after their disappearance with the keys in the ignition. Police believe a chainsaw was also missing from their farm. A friend says Shipulin, a former pilot in the Russian air force, was owed up to $200,000 from several failed businesses on the island; a cyclone that damaged the couple's farm in February apparently pushed them deeper into financial turmoil. "Yuri would give you the shirt off his back, he was too trusting and he was taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous people," the friend says. "It was his first time off the block in paradise and he was living lavishly and burning the candle at both ends." Divers have begun a search of the beach, which could take weeks, per the Fiji Sun. (A woman says she found a human face in a carwash.)

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