Pianist's wife charged with killing daughters in Texas

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Award-Winning Pianist Finds Daughters Dead at Wife's Home

DALLAS, March 21 (Reuters) - The estranged wife of a celebrated Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko has been charged with killing the couple's two daughters at their home in suburban Fort Worth, police said on Monday.

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Benbrook Police said Sofya Tsygankova, 31, has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of daughters, Nika, 5, and Michela, 1. Kholodenko, 29, discovered them in their bedrooms early on Thursday when he went to visit them at their mother's house.

The charges can bring the death penalty in Texas.

"We have probable cause, reason to believe, that she committed the homicides," Benbrook police Commander David Babcock told a news conference.

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Pianist Vadym Kholodenko and family
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Pianist's wife charged with killing daughters in Texas
In this 2014 file photo, Vadym Kholodenko poses with his wife Sofya Tsygankova and daughters Nika, 4, and Michela, 2 months old, on Sept. 23, 2014. Police say their daughters Nika and Michela were found dead in their home on March 17, 2016 and Tsygankova was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds. Benbrook police said, Friday, that Kholodenko is not a suspect. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
In this 2014 file photo, Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko and his wife Sofya Tsygankova pose at the 2014 Cliburn Gala at Ridglea Country Club on May 2, 2014. Police say their daughters Nika, age five, and Michela, one, were found dead in their home Thursday, March 17, 2016 and Tsygankova was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds. Benbrook police said, Friday, that Kholodenko is not a suspect. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
In this 2014 file photo, Vadym Kholodenko poses with his wife Sofya Tsygankova and daughters Nika, 4, and Michela, 2 months old, on Sept. 23, 2014. Police say their daughters Nika and Michela were found dead in their home on March 17, 2016 and Tsygankova was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds. Benbrook police said, Friday, that Kholodenko is not a suspect. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Cliburn medalists Beatrice Rana, 2nd place winner, Vadym Kholodenko, first place winner, and Sean Chen, third place winner, receive applause from the audience at the final awards ceremony at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday June 9, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of the Ukraine, wins the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday June 9, 2013. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko holds up the gold cup after winning the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday June 9, 2013. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Van Cliburn president Jacques Marquis, left, and Chairman Carla Thompson applaud gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko after winning the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday June 9, 2013. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of Ukraine, performs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday June 9, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of the Ukraine, plays a concerto as Leonard Slatkin conducts the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra on the second day of finals in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 7, 2013. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of the Ukraine, performs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin on the second day of the final round of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 7, 2013. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of the Ukraine, plays a concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra on the second day of finals in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 7, 2013. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of the Ukraine, rehearses with Maestro Leonard Slatkin and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra before his performance in the finals of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 7, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of the Ukraine, left, rehearses with Maestro Leonard Slatkin and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra before his performance in the finals of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 7, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko, of Ukraine, performs in the semifinal round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, June 3, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko of the Ukraine performs during the second day of the preliminary round of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, May 25, 2013. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko of the Ukraine performs in the preliminary round of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, May 25, 2013. (Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Vadym Kholodenko of the Ukraine performs for the second day of the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, May 25, 2013. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
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Tsygankova suffered what appeared to be self-inflicted stab wounds in the incident. She was in the hospital for treatment of her physical injuries and will be undergoing a mental evaluation, he said.

She will transported to Tarrant County jail after her mental health evaluation.

Physical evidence was collected at the scene and police detectives have spoken to Tsygankova, Babcock said.

Kholodenko had an appointment to pick up the children on Thursday morning when he came across the crime scene, police said.

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"The loss of my children will be with me forever. But I would like to say that I feel the support of the Fort Worth community and all people who are sending me messages all over the world," Kholodenko said in a statement on Friday evening.

"Wherever I go after this tragedy, my heart will stay with the people here of Fort Worth and my daughters will rest in this soil," he added.

In 2013, he won the gold medal in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Kholodenko and Tsygankova married in 2010, but filed for divorce last November, according to court records obtained by local media.

Police were called to this residence twice in 2014 for undisclosed reasons, Babcock said.

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