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Russians Arrest Suspect in Activist's Murder, Blame Domestic Dispute

Yelena Grigoryeva

Yelena Grigoryeva died shortly after her name was published on a website encouraging the hunting and torturing of gays.

Russian authorities have a suspect in custody in the murder of LGBTQ activist Yelena Grigoryeva. But despite her death occurring shortly after Grigoryeva was singled out on website encouraging people to hunt her down and torture her, police say she died in a domestic dispute.

The Russian Investigative Committee said it arrested a 38-year-old man for Grigoryeva's murder, according to Radio Free Europe. The name of the suspect has not been released, but police said he was a personal acquaintance.

"As a result of materials collected by investigators about the deceased woman, it has been established that she led an asocial lifestyle, repeatedly drinking alcoholic beverages with various people, including the suspect," investigators said in a statement in Russian.

Grigoryeva was found stabbed to death last week shortly after her name had been listed on a Saw-inspired website encouraging the hunting of suspected LGBTQ individuals. She had reportedly received a number of death threats online shortly before her murder.

But that had nothing to do with her death, Russians authorities assured. Rather, they said the suspect showed up intoxicated at the address where Grigoryeva was found dead. Police say Grigoryeva was stabbed in the back and face at least eight times during a "sudden domestic conflict" that erupted.

No decision has been made on bringing charges, investigators said. But an investigation suggests the suspect also attacked and stole from another associate in another July incident.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia has demanded a thorough investigation.

"We express deep condolences to the family and friends of Elena Grigorieva in connection with her murder," reads a tweet in Russian from the embassy's official account, using an alternative rendering of her name.

"Elena Grigorieva was a brave defender of rights, the LGBTQ community and various civil initiatives. We call on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough and objective investigation."

In addition to supporting LGBTQ rights, Grigoryeva also had fought for Crimea's independence from Russia and rallied in support of political prisoners.

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