16 July 2008, 11:40
DNA analysis confirms Yekaterinburg remains are young Romanovs - Investigative Committee (updated)
Moscow, July 16, Interfax - The results of a DNA analysis have confirmed the hypothesis that remains found near Yekaterinburg a year ago are those of Prince Alexey and Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna, the Investigative Committee within the Russian prosecution system said in an official statement on Wednesday.
"The scientific results based on a DNA analysis of three genetic systems correlate with the hypothesis that remains of Grand Duchess Maria and Crown Prince Alexey were found in the 'second' burial site," it said.
Nevertheless, Russian scientists will continue their work to complete the analysis and make a final conclusion on the identification of the remains, it said.
The Investigative Committee's main investigations department has completed the principal part of the analyses to identify the remains. It was presumed from the very start that the remains could have been those of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II's relatives or members of his retinue, who were executed in Yekaterinburg early on July 17, 1918.
A burial site containing remains of nine people was uncovered near Yekaterinburg in July 1991. The remains were "later identified as those of members of the family of the last Russian emperor and people from his retinue." However, the remains of Prince Alexey Nikolayevich Romanov and Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna Romanova were not among those discovered.
On July 29, 2007, pieces of bones and teeth were found 60 centimeters underground during excavations 70 kilometers to the south of the first burial site, the Investigative Committee said. The remains could not be identified during the excavations, but the location of the burial site and its specifics gave reason to presume that they could have been those of Prince Alexey and Grand Duchess Maria, his sister.
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