An Instagramer has confessed to killing her own children and setting fire to them, after claiming she could no longer support them.
Divorcee Elena Karimova, who has 21,000 subscribers for her online cosmetic sales business, is being investigated for strangling her daughter, Khadizha, four, and son Suleiman, two, in the back seat of her rented Kia Rio.
The Russian woman – who had fallen behind with loan repayments after being divorced by her husband – then bought fuel from a petrol station, drove the bodies to a forest and set fire to her dead children.
Fearing she would be spotted by locals, the 27-year-old put the charred bodies back in her car and returned home.
The next day she put the corpses in an abandoned warehouse near Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia and set fire to it.
Firemen initially found what appeared to be one severely burned body after extinguishing the blaze.
Local resident Evgeny Katyshev said: “The fireman initially thought that the charred corpse belonged to a dog.
"But when he came up closer, he realised this was the bodies of two children.
“They were in unnatural poses, and rumours spread that they had been transported in a suitcase.
“The bodies were so damaged only one leg remained, and it was impossible to identify the gender of the corpses.”
Locals had noticed Karimova’s car at the scene and police interrogated her leading to an immediate confession, say reports.
“I couldn’t provide for my children,” she told officers.
Later in court, where she was remanded in custody, she said: “I’m very sorry for what happened.
"I do not even know how I could go about this.”
She added: “I lived with my husband, and then we divorced and it became difficult to raise children.”
Despite her financial problems, she spend £470 a month on car rentals and took foreign holidays.
Shocked family members and friends said her action was “totally out of character” and refused to believe she was capable of such barbarity.
Her mother Natalia Testenkova said: “We do not believe this.
“She is the most loving mother. How could she kill her kids?
"We do not know what has happened, but we do not believe these are her kids that were found.”
Her godmother Valentina Butnar said she had been in a “good mood” shortly before the crime was committed.
“I just cannot believe this is true,” she said.
Two weeks ago the suspect wrote on the birthday of her daughter: "You are my soul, my dearest little one, the long-awaited daughter. The one for whom I am always on my feet.
“The one I live for. You are my copy.”
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