More than a week after a Moscow State University student disappeared, police have opened an investigation into suspected murder, RIA-Novosti reported.
Irina Artyomova, 22, disappeared on the evening of Sept. 13 shortly after leaving a gym on Lomonosovsky Prospekt, sparking a volunteer search effort of unprecedented size.
Thousands of notices have been hung all over the city, and tens of thousands of supporters have joined a dedicated group on the Vkontakte social network, but so far their efforts have not yielded results.
Police opened the murder investigation Wednesday as required by Russian law, which states that such an investigation must be opened automatically if no traces of a missing person are found after an exhaustive initial search.
For more information on Irina Artyomova, or to help with the search, visit vkontakte.ru/artemova_irina or vkontakte.ru/tragedy2011.