Update: Two men have been charged in the death of Irina Yarmolenko. Mark Bradley Carver, 40, and Neal Leon Cassada Jr., 54, were arrested Dec. 12 and charged with first-degree murder and felony conspiracy. Mount Holly police provided no details as to a possible motive for the slaying or information about what led to the arrests.
Mount Holly, NC – Mount Holly Police need some help in trying to determine what happened to 20-year-old Irina “Ira” Yarmolenko. On Monday, at around 10 a.m. the UNCC student’s car was seen at a coffee shop near the university. At 1:15, she was found laying dead beside her car on the banks of the Catawba river.
Police Chief David Belk said she appeared to have driven off the road behind the Waters Edge development and the Stowe Family YMCA. They still do not know how she died or why she was so far away from campus.
“It’s strange that anyone would go to that area,” he said.
She was born in the Ukraine but grew up in Chapel Hill with her family who moved to North Carolina in the 1990s as refugees. Ira was a member of the Russian Club as well as a photographer and occasional writer for the student newspaper.
Police are still looking for more information about Yarmolenko’s death so contact Mount Holly Police at 704-827-4343 if you have any.
A candlelight vigil will be held at the Belk Tower on the UNC Charlotte campus at 7 tonight.Visitation will be held at Walker’s Funeral Home, 120 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill (919-942-3861) from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. She will be buried at 4 p.m. Saturday in Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.
Here is a tribute video found on Youtube.