College student's death ruled murder

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Photo submitted by friends of Irina.</span></div>
May 15, 2008 8:22:36 AM PDT
A college student from Chapel Hill is killed and investigators are stumped.

The body of 20-year-old Arinia 'Ira' Yarmolenko was found by a jet-skier along the banks of the Catawba River Near Charlotte On Monday afternoon. Her car was smashed into a tree.

Yarmolenko was a student at UNC Charlotte, but grew up in Chapel Hill.

Thursday, Yarmolenko's friends came together with candles at UNC Charlotte to honor her short life.

Sharing the same sense of sadness, students looked back on the life of their friend Ira.

"Ira you can't describe in words, she was the best human being ever," one friend said.

Yarmolenko grew up in Chapel Hill and graduated from Chapel Hill High School. She was a sophomore at UNCC.

"I hope that when you go home tonight, you will tell everyone you know that you love them. Because I tell you, I didn't get a chance at all. I don't know the last time was that I told my sister I loved her," Ira's brother said.

Yarmolenko was last seen at a campus Credit Union just a couple of hours prior. And area police were not sure what to make of the discovery, until Thursday.

"The Mount Holly Police Department has shifted our death investigation into a full homicide investigation," said Mount Holly Police Chief David Belk.

Autopsy reports show she died from asphyxiation.


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