A 21-year-old French and British dual citizen, who had been reported missing by the French Embassy on Saturday, was found frozen to death in the snow on Sunday.
Nicolas Scott Lazareff, a student, went missing the night of Dec. 15 in an area on the outskirts of Moscow after leaving the Crazy Daisy night club in the city center. Lazareff, his brother Alexis, and a British student hailed an unlicensed taxi and planned to head home.
However, according to one of the surviving victims, the driver offered his passengers a drink, which investigators now believe was drugged. Nicolas and Alexis Lazareff accepted, and soon lost consciousness, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported.
The driver then drove the three passengers to an unfamiliar region outside the city, robbed them, and abandoned them in the cold. Nicolas Lazareff was able to move on his own, but later became separated from the other two victims.
Lazareff was found dead on Sunday in a forest in the Moscow region. His coat, smartphone, and ring were missing. Medical examiners believe he died of hypothermia, but the exact cause of death has not yet been established.
The Moscow regional Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case in the matter. Law enforcement has detained the alleged taxi driver.