Journalist Viktoria Marinova Found Raped and Murdered in Bulgaria After Reporting on EU Corruption Investigation

An undated handout photo made available by TVN on 07 October 2018 shows late 30-year-old’s journalist Viktoria Marinova at a local television station, TVN in the town of Ruse, Bulgaria. The body of Viktoria Marinova was found in a park in the northern city of Ruse, near the River Danube on 06 October 2018. EPA-EFE/TVN RUSE / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The body of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova was found in a park on Saturday, making her the third journalist to have been murdered in the European Union in a year, the Guardian reports.

Marinova, 30, had reported on an investigation into corruption of EU funds shortly before she was raped and brutally murdered in the northern town of Ruse on the Danube river, according to Bulgarian authorities.

“Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, car keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing,” said Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev.

Marinova was a presenter for a current affairs show called Detector on Ruse-based private television channel TVN, one of the most popular channels in northeastern Bulgaria.

In a segment aired on September 30, Marinova interviewed two Romanian journalists who were investigating several politicians and businessmen for alleged corruption of EU funds. Prior to the TVN interview’s broadcast, the Romanians had been briefly detained by Bulgarian authorities.

According to Interior Minister Mladen Marinov, there is no evidence to suggest that Marinova’s death was motivated by her journalism. “It is about rape and murder,” he said said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bulgarian authorities to launch a thorough investigation.

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SOURCE: TIME, Casey Quackenbush