The Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that the cause of death for nine-year-old Varvara Ivanova was strangling. Investigators have reason to believe that the child was sexually molested, the prosecutor's spokeswoman, Mari Luuk, told rus.err.ee.
Experts have still not confirmed the child's time of death, but they are convinced that the murder was not carried out in the same location where the body was found. Luuk said the results of a forensics analysis may be clear by the end of the week.
The child from Narva went missing on March 18. Her body was discovered by volunteer searchers at 10:50 on the morning of March 23, hidden under the snow in a field near the city's ice rink.
The grotesque news has shocked Estonia. Raivo Küüt, director of the Police and Border Guard Board, called the murder unprecedented.
On the evening that the body was discovered, an ETV news anchor posited that Estonians are used to a safe environment, and it is typical for first and second graders to walk home from school alone.
Küüt responded, “Actually, this situation is extremely rare. And this kind of thing has never come up before. Estonia is a safe place. But this freak incident undeniably shows how fragile our security is. And that nothing should be taken for granted.”