Local News

UNCC offers reward in student's death

Posted May 15, 2008 4:59 p.m. EDT

— The University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Thursday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the recent death of a former Chapel Hill resident.

The body of Irina Sergeyevna Yarmolenko, 20, was found next to her blue Saturn at the edge of the Catawba River in Mount Holly on May 5. She had been suffocated, according to an autopsy.

The UNCC sophomore graduated from Chapel Hill High School in 2006.

The $10,000 reward will be funded by private money in a UNC Charlotte Foundation discretionary fund used by Chancellor Philip Dubois, officials said, noting it wouldn't come from state funds or tuition money.

“The entire university community is stunned by this senseless tragedy,” Dubois said in a statement. “We are trying to do everything we can to bring this case to a resolution, including offering this reward to encourage anyone who might know something to come forward immediately.”

The reward will be administered by Crime Stoppers of Gaston County, and Dubois said he expects the Mount Holly Police Department to request a separate $10,000 reward fund from the Governor’s Office in the case.

Yarmolenko was seen leaving a Charlotte coffee shop less than three hours before her body was found. Police said Wednesday that they also had information that she stopped at a Goodwill store that morning.