Friends mourn the loss of Yulia Solodyankina as body find is confirmed


POLICE have confirmed a body discovered in an Argyll forest last week is that of missing student Yulia Solodyankina.

The badly decomposed human remains found near Arrochar last Thursday have been positively identified after a seven month search for the missing woman.

Friends paid tribute to Edinburgh University physics student, who was 22, saying: “There are no words can express the sadness we feel.”

Friends and family launched a nationwide appeal for the young woman after she vanished more than seven months ago
Friends and family launched a nationwide appeal for the young woman after she vanished more than seven months ago

Members of the campaign had complained about the time it was taking for the police formally to identify the remains found near Arrochar last Friday.

Police insiders said they had faced considerable difficulty obtaining a reliable sample of Yulia’s DNA which they could match to the badly decomposed remains.

Yulia, from Moscow, disappeared after learning she had failed her fourth and final year. Insiders said she had been studying suicide websites on her laptop.

Police today confirmed that a body found in a Scottish beauty spot belong to missing Edinburgh University student, Yulia.

A spokeswoman said: “Following further forensic examination and DNA testing, we can confirm the identity as that of Russian student, Yulia Solodyankina who had been reported missing in June.

“There are no suspicious circumstances in connection with the death.”

She added: “Yulia’s family has been informed and a report has been submitted to the Procurator


Yulia's father, Dmitry, flew to Scotland to visit his daughter but instead spent his time waiting for news
Yulia’s father, Dmitry, flew to Scotland to visit his daughter but instead spent his time waiting for news

A spokesman for the Find Yulia campaign said today: “No words can express the sadness we feel regarding the death of our friend Yulia.

“We feel blessed to have spent the time that we did with her.

“Yulia was full of energy, a beautiful dancer, caring friend and a kind and gentle soul.  Our thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.

“We would like to thank the thousands of people involved in the Find Yulia campaign.  We feel overwhelmed by the number of people who offered their support and sent kind words.

“It has been heartening to realise how many people really care.  We would encourage anyone struggling or feeling a sense of desperation to reach out for help and support.

He added: “We miss Yulia so much and will never forget her.”

Tributes poured in for the young dancer minutes after the news was announced.

Ellie Stewart wrote: “Oh my lord. I am so sorry to hear that. While I didn’t know her, I would regard her as a member of my community and I’m sure it’s a loss the community will feel very deeply.”

Washu McWatt said: “I wish I saw Yulia in Glasgow that day, I would have spoken to her and told her how beautiful and intelligent she was and no degree would need to prove it.”

Scott Young said: “I’m sorry to read these words… i never knew her personally, but a few of my friends knew her well…. my thoughts are with them, and Yulia’s family, and also her soul, travelling on it’s way… this must have been a dreadful ordeal for those of you closest to her…. R.I.P.”

No statement has been made so far by the young woman’s family.

Yulia was reported to have been “very stressed” during her exams


Earlier this week, Yulia’s friends complained about how long it was taking to confirm Yulia’s death.

Matthew Crisp said: “Personally I find it excruciating that it has taken so long and might take longer if there is a technical problem.

“As a DNA test can take a matter of hours, I don’t understand why this has not been treated as a matter of urgency I am fed up but there is nothing that can be done.

“The police were happy to put out the initial info that the body was linked to Yulia. They should have backed that up with some fast action.

“Still we must wait. We must be patient.”

He added: “ I have heard that the person found will be identified by Friday.”

Sources close to the investigation say the length of time was “adequate” due to the difficulties involved in obtaining 100% DNA.

They said: “It takes quite some time to establish the identity in cases like these because a 100% DNA match for Yulia is needed first and then we have to collect viable samples from the remains.

“There’s lots of facts to consider and unfortunately it does take quite some time but we need to be completely certain about the identity.”

After an anxious week long wait, friends were told the news today


CCTV showed she travelled to Glasgow’s Buchanan street bus station the following day before boarding a bus to the north or west of Scotland, officers believed.

Reports in July from Yulia’s graduation ceremony revealed she had failed the final year of her physics degree at Edinburgh University.

The graduation list showed the Russian’s name listed under Bachelor of Science rather than on the physics list where her fellow colleagues were shown – confirming she had failed the final exams to secure the honours degree.

Best friend, Galina Galimova, who studies in Moscow, said at the time of her disappearance: “It wasn’t grades that were released on the 6th but a list of person who got honours diplomas.”

Suicide websites

Reports from a police insider shortly after revealed Yulia had been looking at suicide websites on her laptop – prompting thoughts that failing her degree proved too much for the student.

The police insider, who has been working on the case, said: “We confiscated her laptop to look at the hard drive and found she had been looking at suicide websites.

They then asked: “Have they found her body yet? I guess it’s presumed alive until they find her body.”

“She’s pretty high profile, her dad’s a millionaire is he not?”

Yulia’s father, Dmitry Solodyankin, had been planning a trip to Edinburgh to visit his daughter however he spent the following two weeks sitting alone in his hotel, anxiously awaiting news on her whereabouts.

Mr Solodyankin, a wealthy director of an electricity company, initially believed his daughter had been kidnapped saying he thought someone had taken her out of the country.

Admitting that that was the “worst scenario”, he emotionally added that she was his “purpose to live for; she meant everything.

“If she doesn’t come back that will be the end of our lives as we know it. The main purpose of life is family. If you lose them, you lose your purpose for life.”

He described Yulia, who is the only child of Dmitry and his wife Ekaterina, as “rational, calm and always assessing risks.”

He said: “she wouldn’t do anything stupid.”

Mr Solodyankin said Yulia had told her family she had received a 2:1 degree grading from the University however later reports revealed this was untrue.

The 43-year-old criticised the police however, saying they would try to find her harder if she had committed a crime.

He said: “We do not have any answers. Neither has the police.

“Unfortunately we don’t see that the police are looking for intensely. I just wonder that if she had committed a crime, for example robbed a bank, would they have looked for her with the same speed.

“I suppose that the police just wait for somebody to remember her.”

No hopeless situations

Yulia’s best friend, Galina Galimova, who lives in Moscow also criticised police efforts at the time of Yulia’s disapperance.

Speaking shortly after Yulia’s disappearance, she said: “We don’t know why the police is so unhelpful, they do what the can do. Detectives can’t do anything that police can’t.”

Yulia’s mother flew to Scotland two weeks after she was reported missing before issuing an emotional plea to her daughter.

Mrs Solodyankina said: “ “There are no hopeless situations in life. Everything can be overcome.”

She added: “Do you remember, I told you that I love you whatever you do, whatever happens to you?

“Come back, if you hear us. We love you very much. We love you. You are our life.”