In mid-September, a man called 911 and told an emergency dispatcher that he’d found his wife “lying in blood” in the grass behind Kimbrell’s Furniture Store at 5109 New Bern Ave., after she had gone missing the day before.
Police didn’t buy Volodymyr Kocherhin’s story and charged the 51-year-old with the first-degree murder of his wife, Olha Kocherhina, 44. Investigators determined that Kocherhina had been beaten to death.
A search warrant application made public Thursday showed that police seized the cell phones of the Ukrainian immigrants after the husband told investigators that his wife had been missing and the two “were separated at times” during the day before her body was found, Raleigh detective G.E. Powell wrote in the search warrant application.
The police wanted to investigate the records of the two phones to determine whether Kocherhina had used her phone to call her husband’s phone during the time when he said she was missing, according to records filed at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.
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Powell, the detective, wrote that while conducting a background investigation of the husband and wife, “multiple sources indicated that their relationship was tumultuous at times with a history of domestic violence incidents,” court records show.
It was just before 1:30 a.m. Sept. 16 when police found Kocherhina, lying on her back behind the furniture store. The woman had bruising and bleeding “about her body,” according to the search warrant. Although she was on her back, investigators determined she had been moved before the police and paramedics arrived, court records show.
Paramedics told police that it appeared she had died inside a 2004 Chevrolet Express box truck parked a few feet away. Powell wrote in an earlier search warrant application that the truck had significant front-end damage and no engine, and that officers could see a mattress, bedding and clothing in the truck’s rear. They concluded that someone was living in the vehicle.
Detectives later learned that the couple had been evicted from their home on Panhill Way, a little over two miles away off Old Milburnie Road, according to the search warrant.
Powell said police found property that belonged to Kocherhin inside the truck, as well as blood.
Kocherhin remains in the Wake County jail without benefit of bail, a detention spokesman reported Thursday.
Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald