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Grisly details at dismemberment trial

Feb. 23, 2011 at 1:38 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A Dracula mask was found near a dismembered murder victim, investigators testified in a New York trial.

The mask was near three garbage bags found in New Jersey woods containing the remains of Brooklyn jewelry importer Viktor Alekseyev, witnesses said Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Prosecutors say the victim was last seen alive with Dmitriy Yakovlev, who is on trial for killing him and stealing his identity. He also is accused of the identity theft of Russian translator Irina Malezhik and former police mechanic Michael Klein, who are missing, the New York Daily News reported.

No traces of Yakovlev's DNA were found on the mask, the report said.

Forensic pathologist Lyla Perez testified that the victim's head, torso, hands and feet were not found.

The limbs were "disarticulated," removed without cutting through bone. "The disarticulation was very clean. I thought the person who does that had anatomic knowledge," Perez said.

Yakovlev's immigration application states he had worked as a surgeon in Russia.

Right after the victims disappeared, Yakovlev took their money from ATM machines and used their credit cards, authorities charge.

Yakovlev's wife, Julia, has pleaded guilty to stealing Malezhik's identity.

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