Daughter of Russian oil executive feared dead as body found

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The teenage daughter of a top Russian oil executive was feared dead Tuesday after police said a body matching her description was found in the Moscow region.

Viktoria Teslyuk, 16, disappeared in March after she left the family home in a luxury development outside Moscow. Her father, Robert Teslyuk, is a senior manager at Russia's biggest private oil firm Lukoil.

The schoolgirl disappeared shortly before the son of a top software developer, Eugene Kaspersky, was kidnapped last month and held for five days before being freed by police.

A police official in the Taldomsky district confirmed to AFP that "a body has been found. Some of the distinguishing characteristics match, but there has not been an official identification."

The body of a woman was found in a wooded area with "signs of a violent death," the Investigative Committee said in a statement, specifying that the woman's skull had been smashed.

It added that identification was hindered by decay to the body.

A source in the security forces denied speculation that Viktoria had been kidnapped, however. "No one contacted Teslyuk's relatives with a ransom demand," the source told the Interfax news agency.

Her father is a senior executive responsible for the Arman oil field in Kazakhstan, which is a joint enterprise with Shell and Mittal Investments, according to Lukoil's website.

Life News tabloid website reported that the body was found still wearing costly jewellery, suggesting that the girl was not the victim of a violent robbery.

Investigators said they had opened a criminal probe into grievous bodily harm causing death.

Lukoil earlier posted a description and photograph of Viktoria on its website after she disappeared on March 26, describing her as blonde with blue eyes.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the case on Tuesday.

Last month, the 20-year-old son of software tycoon Eugene Kaspersky was seized by kidnappers who demanded a ransom of three million euros ($4.4 million) before police freed him in a dramatic rescue operation.

© 2011 AFP

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