Bulgarian authorities are investigating the rape and murder of an investigative reporter in the northern city of Ruse, the third journalist to have been killed in the EU this year.
The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found on Saturday near a pedestrian alley in an area with heavy vegetation, Bulgarian state media reported.
Preliminary investigations showed the cause of death was blows to the head and suffocation.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Mladenov described the murder as “exceptionally brutal” and said Marinova was raped before she was killed, according to state media. He said the country’s top murder investigators had been sent to Ruse to work on the case.
It’s not clear if Marinova’s murder was related to her journalistic work. Authorities are working to identify witnesses and potential motives for her murder.
Bulgarian media reports said that over the last year Marinova had reported on an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds for the broadcaster TVN. She also worked on a program focusing on social issues and was involved with charity work.
“With enormous pain and insurmountable grief the team of TVN television is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague, Victoria Marinova,” TVN said in a statement. “Therefore we ask for sympathy for the sorrow of relatives and colleagues. A bow in her memory!” Read more