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Pianist’s estranged wife charged with killing 2 daughters

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FORT WORTH – The estranged wife of internationally renowned pianist Vadym Kholodenko was accused by Benbrook police Monday of killing their two young daughters before stabbing herself.

Sofya Tsygankova faces two counts of capital murder in the deaths of 5-year-old Nika Kholodenko and 1-year-old Michela Kholodenko. Police said the two girls were found dead in their beds in their home in Benbrook. Tsygankova was found in an “extreme state of distress,” according to authorities.

Benbrook police Cmdr. David Babcock said Monday that Tsygankova was served with the arrest warrants in the Fort Worth hospital where she is undergoing a mental health evaluation. Authorities had said earlier that she suffered knife wounds.

Police said it’s not clear how the girls died and that autopsies are being conducted.

An attorney for Tsygankova did not immediately return phone and email messages for comment Monday.

The Ukranian-born Kholodenko won Fort Worth’s prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, beating about 30 finalists from 12 countries.

Kholodenko and Tsygankova married in 2010 and filed for divorce in November, according to Tarrant County court records. Kholodenko no longer lived at the home with Tsygankova and their daughters, but routinely picked up the children in the mornings.

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