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Irina

Thoughts on the Ira Yarmolenko Case

Jeff Taylor at the Meck Deck has a pretty pessimistic take on the Ira Yarmolenko case.  I don't want to believe his  pessimism is well founded (and I'm sure he doesn't either) but sadly, he makes some good points, especially about the DNA evidence. Crucial DNA has been  found that doesn't match suspects Neal Cassada or Mark Carver, which is disturbing.

I don't agree with Taylor's dismissal of the theory that Ira was taking pictures at the crime scene. I've long believed that Ira saw something at the crime scene that somebody didn't want her to see.  One of my first reactions after Cassada and Carver were arrested was that she'd stumbled across their meth lab. People argue with me about that, but usually it's specifically about the meth lab. That was just the first thing that came to mind. It could have been anything embarassing or incriminating.

Then I read the story that Ira was taking a photography class and could have been taking pictures for a final project.  This reinforced my earlier belief.  This was not a class at UNCC. I mention this because some have objected she wouldn't have still been working on a class project during UNCC final's week.

If she was taking pictures it explains a couple of things. One thing explains is what she was doing at the Catawba river. I don't think she was abducted from the University area and taken there. I know crimes can happen in broad daylight, but usually there are witnesses for something like that. The photography  theory can also explain motive. Neither of the accused were charged with robbery or sexual assault, so I have to assume those things didn't happen. After those two things, seeing something criminal or embarassing while she was taking pictures is the next most likely motive.

The photography theory doesn't explain her car running into the stump, but maybe it doesn't have to. Car accidents happen sometimes, and perhaps this one was completely incidental to the murder.

Maybe I'm out to lunch with this theory, but I can't think of anything better. Note that nothing about it establishes that Cassada and Carver were the killers. If they are not, I hope this doesn't turn into a cold case (maybe it already has. ) I still want justice for Ira.

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