Former Soldier Arrested After Son's Body Pulled From River

A former soldier is facing a murder charge after fishermen pulled the body of his 7-year-old son from a river.

The boy's remains were found in a duffel bag that was weighed down by stones, at the bottom of the Temernik river in southern Russia on Monday.

Alexander Vedmetsky accused of killing son
A 7-year-old boy who was found dead in a bag in the Temernik River in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, on May 30, 2022, is pictured with his father, Alexander Vedmetsky, who is accused of killing him. Alexander Vedmetsky/Zenger

Rostov-on-Don resident Alexander Vedmetsky did admit to disposing of the boy's body in the river, but denied killing him, claiming the youngster fell asleep and failed to wake up.

The prosecution stated that the suspect admitted he "systematically caused bodily harm and later drowned the body of the already deceased boy in the river."

The suspect, a 32-year-old former military serviceman, is unemployed and twice divorced, according to the court.

He had been a rescue worker for the civil defense in nearby Taganrog but was apparently fired from that job, said his second wife Yulia.

The victim's mother - Vedmetsky's first wife - had reportedly taken the boy to Luhansk in Ukraine after her divorce from the suspect in 2017, but she then abandoned the youngster and left him for his grandmother to raise.

The suspect fetched his son from Ukraine around a year and a half ago and had been raising him since then, according to local reports.

Alexander Vedmetsky son
Police in Russia say Alexander Vedmetsky admitted to disposing of the boy's body in the river but denied killing him, claiming the youngster fell asleep and failed to wake up. Alexander Vedmetsky/Zenger

The dad had already been visited by a cop for allegedly beating the boy after neighbors called the police when they heard screams coming from the youngster.

Alexander Vedmetsky and son
A 7-year-old boy who was found dead in a bag in the Temernik River in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, on May 30, 2022, is pictured with his father, Alexander Vedmetsky, who is accused of killing him. Alexander Vedmetsky/Zenger

The officer in question is now under investigation for negligence after failing to report the incident to the child services.

Neighbors have also reported often seeing the suspect in a state of intoxication.

The man did not deny that he beat his son regularly, including the day before the alleged crime, when he struck him with a cord, ostensibly for stealing from a supermarket.

Yulia added that Vedmetsky was not the boy's biological father, despite the youngster having taken his surname. Investigators have since ordered a DNA test.

In court, the suspect said he was innocent begged the judge not to send him to prison.

He said: "I did not commit murder, I am not going to change my place of residence. I am against it, please leave me under house arrest."

However, the judge was not swayed by his plea and ordered his placement in a pre-trial detention center until at least July 29.

Vedmetsky is the sole suspect in the investigation.

Former soldier Alexander Vedmetsky
Former soldier Alexander Vedmetsky allegedly killed his 7-year-old son whose dead body was found in a bag in the Temernik River in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, on May 30, 2022. Zenger

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.