Dmitry Ponomarenko, 30, was arrested on January 20 after police say they believe he decapitated his father and walked around nearby streets with the severed head while covered in another victim’s intestines. The National Police of Ukraine’s criminal department posted about the incident, which occurred in Odessa, Ukraine, on Telegram, writing that an investigation is underway.
In a news release, authorities said they received reports of “a man walking down the street with a human head in his hands.” Responding officers saw the individual returning into an apartment building and followed him in, at which point the bodies of two victims were found. According to the news release, both bodies showed “signs of a violent death.”
The victims were identified by The Sun as the suspect’s father, 53-year-old Igor Ponomarenko, and family friend 32-year-old Aleksandr Demchenko. Ponomarenko was arrested and charged with double murder, the Ukrainian Information Service reported, and if he is found guilty he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Police Apprehended Ponomarenko & Then Discovered the 2 Victims in His Apartment
Police officers told local media outlet Dumskaya that when they responded to the scene, Ponomarenko, while still holding his father’s head, told them “he is a god who is not worshipped.” The police’s Telegram post indicated that Ponomarenko was not only holding his father’s severed head but was also “wrapped in human internal organs.” He told officers his actions were part of a ritual ceremony, the Ukrainian Information Service reported.
Upon following him into the apartment on Heavenly Hundred Avenue, officers discovered the bodies of Ponomarenko’s father and a family friend who also lived in the apartment. A video of the investigation and Ponomarenko being placed under arrest was also shared by the National Police of Ukraine.
When authorities arrested the suspect, the 30-year-old was asked why he committed the crime and answered simply, “Because I wanted to.” He also told officers he shouldn’t be handcuffed because he was not “a pig,” the Ukrainian Information Service wrote.
Neighbors Spoke About Their Horror at Witnessing the Bloody Scene of Ponomarenko Walking Around the Neighborhood
One of Ponomarenko’s neighbors described the horrific scene to local media: “A naked and bloody man, wrapped in guts and holding a man’s head in his hands, came out of the front door, sat down on a bench and lit a cigarette.” Another neighbor said he began a “rampage” in the streets, hitting vehicles with the severed head of his father, The Sun wrote.
According to The Sun, Ponomarenko was fired from his job at Duke Hotel the day before the incident because he was under the influence of drugs and exhibited “inappropriate behavior,” a source reported.
On January 22, Ponomarenko appeared in court, where prosecutors argued against bail, stating that he does not have a permanent residence or work and he may commit a crime again. Ponomarenko is married and has a 4-year-old son, the Ukrainian Information Service reported. The judge denied his bail and ordered the 30-year-old suspect to be sent to a pre-trial detention center in Odessa for two months.