Body identified as Pikesville woman murdered in 2006

Police in Baltimore County have renewed their efforts to find the killer of a Pikesville woman found dead in 2006 now that her remains have been positively identified.

After a lengthy process that included DNA sampling of the woman's relatives in Russia, tests established conclusively that the body found in 2006 in a wooded area of Owings Mills was that of Nina Tarkovskaya, Cpl. Michael Hill, a spokesman for the department, said Wednesday.

"The detectives thought it could be Nina," Hill said, "but they had to be sure."

State medical examiners recently ruled her death a homicide. Police declined to specify the cause of death, citing the investigation.

Tarkovskaya was 46 years old when she went missing in May 2006 after leaving her home about midnight to buy cigarettes at Maria's Restaurant Lounge & Carryout in the 11700 block of Reisterstown Road.

About three hours later, firefighters were called to a vehicle fire in the first block of Cockeys Mill Road. The vehicle, a Toyota Previa van, belonged to Tarkovskaya, police said, but she was not inside.

Sixteen days later, two children walking in woods near Tollgate and Pleasant Hill roads in Owings Mills discovered human remains. But the body was so badly decomposed that no identification was possible at the time.

Tarkovskaya's husband, who Hill said was also believed to be Russian, had reported her missing and was interviewed several times by detectives. He was cleared of involvement in her death.

After some delay, DNA samples were obtained from Tarkovskaya's relatives in Russia. The samples were sent to a laboratory along with a bone from the remains found in Owings Mills. A match was made and the Police Department was notified in November, though final autopsy results were not released to the police until April 14, Hill said.

The department issued a statement saying there is a $2,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Tarkovskaya's killer.

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