The parents of a little girl dubbed the Russian Madeleine McCann after she vanished in 2016 can finally move on after a man was convicted of her murder.
The long-running case started in 2016 when blonde Svetlana Dudina, aged eight, vanished on the way home in the Leningradsky district of the Krasnodar Territory.
Despite an extensive search, there was no sign of her until mysterious messages started appearing skilled on the walls four years later indicating where the body was located.
Throughout this time, the girl’s parents suffered making frequent appeals for information and the stepfather in particular felt devastated that he had left her to go home alone that day.
They admitted that they considered every eventuality but as the area where they lived was a small village where everybody knew everyone else, had not suspected that somebody locally would have betrayed that trust and taken the game away.
As a result of the discovery of her corpse, a murder enquiry was launched which quickly led to the arrest of 63-year-old Nikolai Mishin.
He was one of those who have helped in the search for the girl even though it then turned out that he had known where the body was, but when arrested he admitted burying the body, saying that she had died after being attacked by a dog.
An autopsy later confirmed however that she had died from a blow to the head, and he then changed his story to say that he had hit her with a hammer because she kept coming onto his property and disturbing him in his work. When she had stopped breathing, he wrapped her body in a blanket and hid it in a truck.
He was taken to court but acquitted after he denied that he had killed her. He said that the confessions he made were forced out of him by police who had tortured him.
A retrial was ordered, and this time round her parents were finally given closure after he was convicted and he will be sentenced later after the jury ruled that he should not be given any leniency.