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MOSCOW, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — A suspected child abductor has been found hanged in a prison cell, the Interior Ministry's press service reported on Tuesday.
"Alexander Maximov, arrested on suspicion of kidnapping Rostov schoolgirl Dasha Popova, was found hanged in a cell of the remand prison," police said.
An investigation is underway.
"The suspected criminal was found hanged at around 14:00, Moscow time. A check is underway into the actions by remand prison guards who had failed to prevent the suicide. The culprits are facing a tough penalty," An Interior Ministry official said.
"Maximov was in solitary confinement. The remand prison corridors are under round-the-clock video monitoring. Prison personnel regularly check the situation in the cells," he official underlined.
After a meeting with his lawyer, the suspect was given a meal. The remand prison personnel had inspected the cell before Maximov took food. Several minutes later, a police officer peeked into the cell and saw Maximov trying to commit suicide. He immediately called the duty officer. The prison personnel, together with a medic, opened the door of the cell and provided emergency medical aide to Maximov, but he died. According to preliminary diagnosis, the death was caused by the neck injury characteristic of hanging.
Dasha Popova, 9, did not return home after school on September 19. She was found alive in the Almaz market in Rostov on September 27. Alexander Maximov, b.1955, was detained on suspicion of involvement in the crime. Maximov is an entrepreneur from the town of Aksai. The investigators said he had kidnapped the girl for ransom, as she had walked up to the entrance of her apartment house on her way from school.
The child was ferried tied in the trunk of a car, and only given bread and water.
The investigators also said Maximov had planned to contact Dasha's parents to demand money for her release. He came for ransom to the market where his acquaintance worked. "Upon seeing the girl in the trunk of the car, she immediately reported the fact to police," an Investigative Committee official earlier said.
At present, psychologists are working with the child. Taking part in the search for Dasha were all regional Police and more than 20,000 volunteers.