Former College Wrestling Star Suspected of Killing Pregnant Wife

A former star wrestler at Wheaton College is suspected of killing his pregnant wife at their suburban Minneapolis home.

Yevgeniy Savenok, 30, turned himself in over the weekend, ending a large-scale police search following the stabbing death of his wife. 

Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance around 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the 17100 block of Park Circle in Eden Prairie, an upscale suburb about 12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Officers arrived to find a 23-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds.

The woman, identified by family members as Lyuba Savenok, was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Lyuba Savenok was the mother of a 4-year-old boy, Matthew, and a 3-year-old daughter, Vivienne. Her brother, Aleksandr Katane, said Lyuba Savenok was 26 weeks pregnant with her third child — a boy she planned to name Ellis.

Her assailant fled, prompting a massive police search across the metro area.

At about 1 p.m., the suspect, identified by police as the woman’s husband, Yevgeniy Savenok, turned himself in to the St. Paul Police Department. He was held in custody and could face two counts of murder, according to records at the Hennepin County Jail. Charges had not been filed as of Monday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials told NBC affiliate station KARE 11 they’ve been called to the home before for "domestic assault cases." Yeveginy Savenok was arrested previously and charged with domestic assault. He was reportedly scheduled for a jury trial in the case.

Yevgeniy Savenok graduated from Wheaton College in 2009, according to school records. An article on the school’s website reported in 2007 he was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-American Team.

"Wheaton College is grieved to learn of this tragic situation," the school said in a statement.

Lyuba Savenok's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses and costs associated with raising her two children.

"We believe that justice will be served and so right now her family, loved ones and friends are focusing on celebrating her life and taking great care of her two beautiful children," Katane said in a statement. "Lyuba was a force of joy and passion. She really flourished when she became a mom and so we honor her by trying to set her kids up for success."

It was not immediately clear if Yeveginy Savenok had an attorney.

Police urge anyone involved in a domestic violence situation to seek help. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has resources available on its website, as does the Illinois Department of Human Services.

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