Daughters of celebrated Ukrainian pianist found dead in Texas home

DALLAS (Reuters) - The two young daughters of Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko were found murdered inside their home in a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb, and his estranged wife sustained multiple stab wounds in the incident, local police said on Friday.

Police in Benbrook said Kholodenko, 29, is not considered a suspect in the deaths of his daughters, Nika, 5, and Michela, 1, who were discovered in their bedrooms early on Thursday.

Their mother, 31-year-old Sofya Tsygankova, underwent surgery at a local hospital, police said. She will be held for mental evaluation once she recovers from her physical injuries, police Commander David Babcock said.

Babcock told a news conference the police do not see any immediate threat to the community and are not actively searching for a suspect.

Kholodenko had an appointment to pick up the children on Thursday morning from his estranged wife’s home, he said.

“Once he arrived there, he found the mother in an extreme state of distress and discovered the children in their state,” Babcock said. “He has been cooperative in this investigation. He is not considered a suspect at this time.”

Police previously said there were no signs of forced entry into the home and that they were investigating the case as a double homicide.

A cause of death had not been determined as of Friday morning. Police said the children had not been stabbed.

“The loss of my children will be with me forever. But I would like to say that I feel the support of the Fort Worth community and all people who are sending me messages all over the world,” Kholodenko said in a statement on Friday evening.

“Wherever I go after this tragedy, my heart will stay with the people here of Fort Worth and my daughters will rest in this soil,” he added.

In 2013, he won the gold medal in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He was scheduled to have three shows with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra over the weekend, and a replacement has been named for him, the orchestra said.

Kholodenko and Tsygankova married in 2010, but filed for divorce last November, according to court records obtained by local media.

Police were called to this residence twice in 2014 for undisclosed reasons, Babcock said.

Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza and Jon Herskovitz; Editing by G Crosse and Sandra Maler