April 18, 2023
In March 2023, Kiryl Schukin, 37, and Pavel Vekshin, 28, went missing from Medford, Massachusetts, a city just over six miles northwest of Boston.
The men, a married couple, had been living together in an apartment at 61 Locust Street in Medford at the time of their disappearance and were reported missing on April 9, 2023, when they failed to show up for work and had not responded to messages or been seen in person since March 30. Fearing for the worst, worried friends and co-workers of the couple contacted police to file missing persons reports.
It was quickly discovered that their cell phones had both been turned off, and although their vehicle was located, the men remained missing.
The Medford Police department appealed to the public for information leading to the whereabouts of the missing men, but as time passed, there was no word from Schukin nor Vekshin.
On April 12, 2023, Leonid Volkov, 37, was arrested on suspicion of being connected with the deaths of Kiryl Schukin, 37, and Pavel Vekshin, 28, whose bodies were found in an iStorage unit on North Beacon Street in Brighton, which had been rented by Volkov using one of the victim’s names. The bodies were discovered inside rubber storage bins, and at least one of the victims had been dismembered and person items belonging to both Schukin and Vekshin were found inside the unit.
Schukin’s dismembered remains “had been placed among several of those bins,” and Vekshin’s body was found intact.
Items presumed to be used in a clean-up, including bleach and rubber gloves, were also recovered at the scene.
Investigation revealed that Leonid Volkov was connected to the victims and that they had potentially died as a result of a dispute between Volkov and Schukin.
Volkov had been renting another apartment in Medford, for which Schukin had been the guarantor. When Volkov applied to extend his lease, Schukin said that he would not be accepting responsibility as the guarantor, which ultimately led to Volkov's eviction from the property. At this stage it is unclear why Schukin refused to continue his role as Volkov’s guarantor, however, this issue is believed to be the catalyst for the events that unfolded and ended in the deaths of the married couple.
On March 29, 2023, Schukin and Volkov met up in a U-Haul truck rented in Volkov's name. The pair were seen sitting in the cab of the vehicle together talking. This is the last time Mr. Schukin would ever be seen alive.
Following that meeting, surveillance at the apartment on Locust Street where the victims lived, caught Volkov coming and going from the property.
The U-Haul was later traced to the storage unit on North Beacon Street in Boston. A search warrant for the storage facility was executed by investigators on April 14, where the victims were discovered with stab wounds. Their deaths were ruled a homicide.
The District Attorney’s office said in an announcement: “The body of a man, tentatively identified as Kiryl Schukin, had been dismembered. Bleach, rubber gloves and items belonging to the deceased were also located. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) accepted jurisdiction of the case and has ruled the cause of death of the man identified as Kiryl Schukin as homicide. The second man has been positively identified as Pavel Vekshin and his death has also been ruled a homicide.”
Police believe that Volkov rented the U-Haul to move both the bodies of his victims from the apartment, as well as other items. It is a journey of approximately 11 miles one way from the victim’s apartment to the Storage unit where their bodies had been clandestinely kept.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said of the case: "We believe at this point he was transporting any number of items. With specificity of whether that includes the bodies or body parts, we are not prepared to answer that."
Volkov was arrested on the night of Saturday April 17, 2023, in North Attleboro. He went quietly with police and did not resist arrest of attempt to flee the scene.
In a statement regarding the case, Police Chief Jack Buckley of the Medford Police said: “It’s an extraordinary event in the city of Medford,” adding that the public were safe, as investigators believe that Volkov is the sole perpetrator of the crimes and that the murders were a result of a conflict between the suspects and victims and not a random attack on the larger public.
When asked if the murders had any connections to organised crime, Ryan responded that they had no reason to believe so in this stage of the investigation, however, the investigation is in the preliminary stages, and nothing will be ruled out.
According to the district attorney, Volkov faces one count of murder, however, more charges are likely to be added. The suspect is expected to be arraigned Tuesday at Somerville District Court. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Medford Police Department, and Massachusetts State Police continue to investigate.
Anyone with info is asked to contact the Mass. State Police Detective Unit (781) 897-6600 and/or the Medford Police Detective Division (781) 391-6767.
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