Ekaterina Karaglanova’s parents enter her apartment, but not because their daughter has let them in. They’ve reached out to her landlord, fearing the worst – Karaglanova hasn’t replied to their messages for days. And, as an Instagram star, the 24-year-old presumably has a handle on her phone for most of the day.
So, Karaglanova’s parents start their search for their daughter in her apartment. Perhaps they hope to find a clue of where she’s gone, but they end up uncovering something terrible. As they unzip her suitcase, they enter into every parent’s worst nightmare: they see her corpse inside the luggage.
Ekaterina Karaglanova had already accomplished so much in just 24 years of life. For one thing, she had graduated from medical school and completed her residency in Moscow. She went on to work as a dermatologist. And according to her Instagram posts, she’d decided to pursue this career by the eighth grade.
Settling on a medical career was, of course, just the beginning. “The first three years in the university can be boldly called a quest for survival,” Karaglanova wrote on Instagram. She added that, while she worked and studied, she “didn’t have free time at all… for a few years.” But Karaglanova had more than one passion to pursue.
For one thing, Karaglanova had a successful time entering beauty contests. In her Instagram bio, she shared that she’d come second in the Miss Moscow City competition. And, according to The Daily Telegraph, the dermatologist had also taken part in the Miss Maxim contest in 2018.
Karaglanova had a passion for traveling, too, and wrote a blog on the subject, through which she racked up thousands of fans who subscribed to her post. Then came her Instagram account – with more than 100,000 followers on the social media site, Karaglanova earned the title of “influencer.”
Karaglanova’s posts depicted the glamorous life she led. She traveled extensively through Europe, for example, and shared photos from destinations such as Spain, Italy and Austria. In a caption for a picture Corfu, Greece, she wrote about her passion for travel. “I remember in detail my every trip, all the beautiful places, funny stories,” she stated. “Nothing mixed up in my head, as many people think.”
Karaglanova’s loyal audience didn’t just follow her for the travel content, though. They often commented on her glamorous pictures as well, to highlight the Instagrammer’s likeness to a very famous actress: Audrey Hepburn. And this in turn led Karaglanova to hashtag many of her photos with “#audreyhepburn.”
Her Instagram feed was nonetheless primarily about travel and, in the summer of 2019, Karaglanova was preparing for yet another European getaway. This time, to mark her 25th birthday she would travel with her family and partner from Moscow to the Netherlands.
The Daily Mail reported that Klaraganova’s new beau was more than double her age. She was in her mid-20s, while he was apparently a 50-something. Moreover, in spite of their impending trip and Karaglanova’s flourishing medical and Instagram careers, all was not well in her world.
In early 2019, for example, Karaglanova started to worry for her own safety, as she’d received death threats. “She wrote that she could be killed,” her pal Oksana told Komsomolskaya Pravda. “But I was comforting her, [telling her] that they would do nothing to her.”
Nina, another friend of Karaglanova’s, stated that the dermatologist had been subjected to blackmail, too. That plot apparently centered on nude photos of Karaglanova, some of which were even sent to some of the Instagram star’s associates via social media.
Nina said, “They were sending [Karaglanova’s] naked photos not only to me but to other classmates, too.” Moreover, along with the photos came claims that Karaglanova had worked as a prostitute, Nina added.
According to Nina, such claims about Karaglanova had also been made in the past – and she’d received nude photos of her friend previously, too. “I was sent her naked photos in 2016 and 2018,” Nina explained. “[Karaglanova] said that she had been pestered with those photos for several years.” But the Instagrammer apparently had no idea who had disseminated the images.
Karaglanova had her ex-boyfriend to worry about as well. As we’ve heard, she’d entered into a relationship with a 50-something man. But before dating him, she’d had another beau who was in his early 30s. And according to the Daily Mail the travel blogger had called her former flame a “wolf.”
Nonetheless, from Karaglanova’s perspective, the life she was leading was the one she’d long dreamed of. Her pal Svetlana said that, after the dermatologist had cosmetic surgery on her nose, her blog posts had increased in popularity. “This was her dream,” Svetlana told Komsomolskaya Pravda. And Karaglanova capitalized on her growing fame with photoshoots that garnered her more and more followers.
But all of that came to a sudden halt in July of 2019, just before Karaglanova and her new beau had planned to leave for the Netherlands. Instead, her family found themselves unable to get in touch with her. And, understandably, they started to worry about the dermatologist’s well-being.
Eventually, Karaglanova’s parents appealed to the landlord who oversaw their daughter’s apartment in Moscow. The property’s owner subsequently granted them access to the dermatologist’s rental, where initially things looked to be in order. They found no signs of foul play when they went inside, for instance. And investigators later said that there was neither a weapon nor signs of a struggle at the scene.
But Karaglanova’s parents eventually found a suitcase in their daughter’s apartment – and what they found inside would change their lives forever. Karaglanova’s lifeless body, clad only in a garter, lay within the luggage. The Instagram star had suffered had multiple injuries including knife wounds to her torso and a slash across her throat.
Upon making that grisly discovery, Karaglanova’s parents sprang into action. Her father immediately called an ambulance in the hope that first-responders could save his daughter. However, by the time her parents had unzipped the suitcase in which she’d been left, nothing could be done – Karaglanova wad already dead.
Following the death of Karaglanova, the focus inevitably shifted to figures from her past. And it didn’t take long for police to hone in on a suspect. Closed-circuit TV cameras captured a man exiting her apartment building sporting gloves in spite of the high temperatures in Moscow that day.
The video also showed the man walking into the building with a plastic bag, his face obscured from view beneath a hat. In the footage, he then departed the Moscow residential complex in his gloves four hours later. And, as he exited, he carried with him a small suitcase, too.
The police naturally sought information about Karaglanova’s personal life. They wanted to know more about her new boyfriend, for example, as well as the previous partner she’d described as a “wolf,” according to the Daily Mail. But the man shown in the footage may not have been either of those suspects.
According to the investigators’ initial findings, the man seen entering and exiting Karaglanova’s building was possibly Maxim Gareyev. The 33-year-old IT worker had apparently studied at The Open University in the U.K. But his career could be on an indefinite hiatus, if his chilling confession turns out to be a truthful one.
Gareyev reportedly told police that he’d met Karaglanova neither through her medical practice nor her Instagram account. Instead, he apparently claimed to have found her on an escort service’s website. Authorities planned to investigate this claim more fully – they wanted to know how well the pair knew each other prior to Karaglanova’s death.
The investigators subsequently shared the video of Gareyev’s alleged confession. He starts by describing his visit to Karaglanova’s apartment that fateful day. The IT expert says that he and the Instagrammer had a conversation before they slept together. He then claims that Karaglanova had a lot to say about their tryst – none of it good.
In the video, Gareyev alleges, “Before and during it, [Karaglanova] made jokes, saying offensive things because I don’t have as much money as other men. And that I have no personality.” He then claims that her taunts didn’t stop after they slept together. “She carried on making jokes about me,” he adds.
According to Gareyev, Karaglanova then said that he was “nothing, that nothing will help me with my looks, no plastic surgery, nothing.” He then claims in the videotaped confession that she didn’t stop there. Indeed, Karaglanova supposedly told Gareyev that she wouldn’t even have a coffee with him, either.
And the insults continued, according to Gareyev. He claims that he makes nearly $8,000 per month as an IT specialist, but Karaglanova allegedly told him that he wouldn’t be able to afford to come see her again for months. He had too many debts, apparently, and an ex had supposedly stolen money from him.
At that point, Gareyev states, “I lost control. I grabbed a knife in the kitchen.” Then, he says, he hit her neck with the blade. The Instagrammer didn’t die right away, he add. In fact, she apparently ran from Gareyev and tried to hide in her bathroom. But he claims on the tape that was still able to get to her.
Gareyev then states that Karaglanova started shrieking, but he covered her mouth. And when she tried running to the living room, he caught hold of her again. She continued to try to fight him off, but eventually Gareyev overpowered her. Karaglanova fell, he says, and he then delivered the final blows.
With that, Gareyev says, Karaglanova died in front of him. He goes on to claim that he hadn’t arrived with plans to kill the Instagram star. Instead, he alleges, he felt so shocked that he broke down in tears afterwards. “I lost consciousness. I couldn’t even stand on my feet,” he says in the confession tape.
But Gareyev didn’t call the authorities for help or to admit what he had done. “I thought that if I went to the police, that was it, my life was over,” he claims. Instead, Gareyev spent some time cleaning up the crime scene. He may then have placed all of the bloody evidence of the crime into the suitcase he’s seen carrying in the video footage from Karaglanova’s building.
In his videotaped confession, Gareyev expresses remorse for his alleged actions that apparently caused Karaglanova’s death. “I want to apologize to [her] parents, I regret a lot,” he says on the record. “I’m very ashamed of myself. I don’t want [my parents] to know the details.”
Later, Gareyev went to court, where he admitted the extent of his debts. He said he owed 8 million rubles, in fact, the equivalent of $121,000. Gareyev went on to deny his financial difficulties had been a motive for his crime, however. Instead, he claimed that he’d only met Karaglanova once before her death and that the crime had been spontaneous.
And, as Gareyev sat in court, he covered his face with his hands. He claimed that he did this not out of shame, though, but instead because he didn’t like the way he would appear to the public. “I look bad,” Gareyev said, adding that he had spent two nights behind bars and hadn’t been able to groom himself prior to arriving in court.
After news of Karaglanova’s death broke, her Instagram account was filled with comments from followers who had differing views about the alleged crime committed at Gareyev’s hands. Beneath Karaglanova’s final post, a user wrote, “I do not approve of the murder. But there are things that provoke aggression. And you need at least a little wisdom to understand this.”
But many others were quick to defend the victim, Karaglanova. Another Instagrammer wrote, “Why insult, write comments [about] the murdered girl, this is blasphemy. Be merciful to the murdered woman… A man was born to live, and not leave this land so early. I am sorry for [her] parents.”
Most of all, though, Karaglanova’s fans couldn’t help but grieve the woman whom they’d lost, the beautiful doctor with so much future potential. One user wrote, “The world is going crazy… people are wild. Sorry for the girl, she was beautiful… maybe [she would have been] successful in medicine.”
Karaglanova did at least leave her many fans with some inspiration to live life to its fullest. Shortly before her death, she’d written about how she’d spent her 24 years on Earth. “A luxurious life is living by your own rules,” she advised. “Go to your goals. Do not seek excuses. Do not be comfortable. Do not make excuses for your choice [or] your dreams.”