It was in 2016 when Kholodenko went to pick up his oldest daughter for school and found his estranged wife, Sofya Tsygankova, “going crazy” and “covered with blood” and then found the bodies of his daughters.
The insanity determination continues a lot of back-and-forth in the case. It was around this time last year, after Tsygankova had been treated at a mental health facility, that a judge determined she was competent and returned her to the Tarrant County Jail to stand trial. Of course that action was taken a year after the Benbrook mother had been found incompetent to stand trial by a Tarrant County court.
“In this case, a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is correct under the facts, and it is what justice demands,” Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said in a statement today after news of the verdict. “Under our law, a person who does not understand that their conduct is wrong because of their severe mental disease cannot be convicted.”
Tsygankova and Kholodenko were in the middle of a contested divorce when their two little girls — 5-year-old Nika and 1-year-old Michela — were found dead in the home they all once shared. When police discovered the children they also found Tsygankova in a blood-stained night gown “rocking back and forth, and making noises.” She had a puncture wound on her chest and a cut on her wrist that were later determined to have been self-inflicted.
Days after the death of his children Kholodenko used music to pay tribute to their memories during a memorial service held in the girl’s honor.