Who Killed Irina Yarmolenko?

On Monday afternoon, a jet skier spotted a car and a deceased female on an embankment near the Catawba River in Mount Holly. (Gaston County) She asked nearby construction workers to call police.

Police have identified the victim as 20-year old Irina “Ira” Yarmolenko. (Photo Right) Police have ruled her death a homicide and said she died from asphyxiation.

Irina was a student at UNC-Charlotte and was last seen in the University area of Charlotte prior to her disappearance. The Mt. Holly Police Dept & UNCC Police Department are working together to solve the case.

Irina Yarmolenko was last seen on Monday morning at approx. 10:50 am, when she left Jackson’s Java- a coffee shop located in the Town Centre Plaza off University City Boulevard. Her body was discovered in Gaston County around 1:15 pm. Police are trying to piece together her whereabouts on Monday between 10:50 am – 1:15pm.

When Irina disappeared, she was driving her 1998 blue 4-door Saturn. (NC Tag XRD-5018) If you have any information for police, please call the Mount Holly Police Department at 704-827-4343 or UNC Charlotte Police at 704-687-2200 or Gaston County Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.

Links:
- Surveillance Video from Goodwill
- Listen to 911 Call
- Fox News: Mystery Surrounds Death of UNCC Student
- Gaston Gazette

6 Responses to Who Killed Irina Yarmolenko?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope The Mount Holly Police Department and the UNCC Security Officers bring in “Seasoned” inverstigators to review this case.

    Working in law enforcement I do not beleive these two agencics have the resources or knowledge to handle such a high profile case. This is not the time for on the job training.

    I wish them the best bit sometimes these small agencies refuse to accept help. They find the offer for assistance insulting, when actually experience is the best tool for this type case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My prayers go out to Irina’s family & friends. I hope justice is swift. It is disturbing and heartbreaking to see so many young women taken way too soon. She looks so much like the young girl from Virginia, maybe Richmond, a few years ago that had been stalked on campus and thru internet.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t heard anything more about this. Did anyone use her ATM or other credit cards afterward? Any clues that this was related to a robbery/carjacking or just a senseless random murder?

  4. Pavel Yarmolenko says:

    Thank you all for your comments. This is something we need to do to fight most crime, not specifically happened to my sister, in case people want to leap to judgements about how this comment pertains to the case.

    I believe that until we all get up and reach out to the poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods, tragedies like my sister’s murder will be frequent. Sure, we can be afraid and concerned for the safety of our loved ones. Sure, we can take preventative measures… But the bottom line is that we have a problem in our social fabric. The only way we can fix it is to help some of the people who want to climb out of poverty to do just that.

    I’ve been thinking about how much time we all waste lately, and if we just put 10 minutes of our off time into helping our community instead of watching TV or playing video games we can make a world of difference.

    Ira really knew how important this approach is… I didn’t, but man, was she right!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m terribly sorry for you loss, but you are wrong about the response for crime. We have for too many years responded to criminals by thinking that if only they had more opportunities they would have made different decisions. I grew up in a VERY poor neighborhood and I knew the guys who ended up living the thug life and I didn’t associate with them, because I knew where they were gonna end up. There are all the chances in the world to leave the “hood” if you make the choice to do so. The ONLY way to reduce this crime is to remove the criminals from society. We have left them for far too long and they are reproducing themselves in their friends, family, and community. There needs to be harsh, immediate consequenses for crime. Nothing else is going to change these people.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Addressing 8:13AM:

    Both agencies have experienced opfficers and investigators working there. I feel you have made an assumption that they do not just because you do not have a lot of murders there – officers move agencies sometimes and I know they have seasoned officers and investigators capable of handling this case.