Russian investigators have opened a murder case after two fishermen were rescued following three months of being lost in a remote Far East forest amid fears the pair could have eaten a companion to stay alive. The two men disappeared in August on a river fishing expedition to the vast Yakutia region in the Russian Far East, one of the most remote and inhospitable places in the world.
Rescuers finally found two of the men this month by the Sutam River, some 250 kilometers from the nearest town of Neryungri in the south of Yakutia, but without their two companions.
The men, aged 37 and 35, and both inhabitants of the Russian Far East, claimed that their group had split up and said the others were likely still alive as they were used to living in the open.
But a murder probe was opened after a team of top investigators from the regional capital Yakutsk found fragments of a human corpse close to the place where the pair was found.
"Investigators carried out an examination of two areas. Fragments of a human corpse with signs of a violent death were discovered and removed," said the Yakutia branch of Russia's Investigative Committee.
Russia has no article in the criminal code for cannibalism but the state RIA Novosti news agency said that the initial theory was that the two men had eaten one companion. It was not clear what happened to the fourth man.