2008-01-22 17:12:00

Suspected remains of tsar's children still being studied

Yekaterinburg, January 22, Interfax - Forensic scientists have come to a preliminary conclusion that body fragments unearthed near a country road in summer 2007 are "with a great degree of probability" the remains of the son and one of the daughters of last Russian tsar Nicholas II.

The remains, fragments of the bodies of a boy aged between 10 and 14 and a woman of 20 bearing marks of homicide, were buried by the side of the Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg, the city where a Bolshevik firing squad put Nicholas, his family and some members of his entourage to death in July 1918.

The Sverdlovsk Regional Forensic Medicine Bureau and a lab in Moscow began genetic investigations of the remains late in December 2007. The bureau chief said it would be impossible to finish the studies by the start of February, an initial deadline. "I can't say exactly how much time will be needed," Nikolay Nevolin told Interfax.

The bureau does have some findings.

However, "we are by no means publicizing them," Nevolin said.

"The investigations that have been done so far don't give us any reason to question anything. There are results that are being obtained step by step, but all comments will come after the Russian side and an independent lab finish their investigations. So far everything is going normally," he said.