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Escaped Killer of Russian ‘Sausage King’ Caught Via Facial Recognition

Alexander Mavridi Russian Investigative Committee / TASS

The man accused of killing a Russian meat magnate in his sauna with a crossbow has been caught after escaping from jail, investigators said Tuesday. 

Vladimir Marugov had been known as Russia’s “sausage king” for his career in the meat-producing industry and ownership of some of the country’s largest meat processing plants. Police found him dead last November, beside the crossbow used to shoot him, in the sauna of his estate outside Moscow.

His accused killer Alexander Mavridi, who escaped from a pre-trial detention center in the Moscow region last month, was detained in the capital Tuesday after he was detected by the city’s facial-recognition surveillance cameras, the state-run TASS news agency TASS reported, citing a source in law enforcement.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it questioned Mavridi on his arrest and charged him with escaping from custody.

Four other detainees had escaped in addition to Mavridi, all of whom have since turned themselves in or been detained.

Mavridi and a second masked assailant Pavel Akhmedov had broken into Marugov’s estate while the meat magnate was in the sauna with his civil partner, former mistress and company board member, Sabina Gazieva. The two men allegedly tied the couple up and demanded money.  

Gazieva was able to escape through a window and call the police from a neighbor's house, while the attackers fled in a car. 

Before his death, Magurov had been going through a messy divorce with his ex-wife, poet Tatyana Marugova, including a highly publicized property rights conflict. 

Last November, the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported, citing an unnamed source, that Mavridi was a close acquaintance of Marugova’s, but she said she had no knowledge of his plans to rob her ex-husband.

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