One hazy morning a telephone started ringing in an office of Mark Ignashin, an investigator with the prosecutor’s office of Tula’s central district. “This is a duty officer of a district police station. We’ve received a report on a mummified body found in apartment building No 142 on Lenin Street. We’re sending a vehicle to pick you up, Mr. Ignashin,” said the officer and hung up.
No sooner had Ignashin stepped into a typical Khrushchev-era tiny apartment than he became aware of a pungent putrid smell. A mummified body in a plaid shirt was seated at a kitchen table. The brownish parchment-like skin covered the mummy’s dried-up bones. An empty vodka bottle and a glass sat on a dusty table. One of the policemen brought a bunch of newspapers from a living room. All the newspapers dated back to February of 2000.