A mental examination has been ordered for a Benbrook mother charged with killing her two young daughters last month.
Officials with Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County have 30 days to complete an examination of Sofya Tsygankova, estranged wife of Cliburn gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko. Benbrook police say Tsygankova killed Nika, 5, and Michaela Kholodenko, 1. Tsygankova has been charged with capital murder.
The order for the exam of Tsygankova was issued last week by Magistrate Matt King. Kholodenko was the gold medalist in the 2013 Cliburn Piano Competition.
Kholodenko found his estranged wife and the bodies of their daughters at the mother’s Benbrook home the morning of March 17.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The written assessment must include a description of the procedures used in collecting information and experts’ observations and findings, according to the Tarrant County court order.
The exam is to determine whether Tsygankova has a mental illness or mental retardation. The assessment should include recommended treatment.
Tsygankova visited an MHMR facility in Fort Worth the day before her daughters were found dead, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. An empty prescription bottle found in the home indicated that she had also just filled a prescription for quetiapine, an antipsychotic medication used to treat illnesses including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
An attorney for Tsygankova entered a plea of not guilty last month in a Fort Worth courtroom.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office has temporarily ruled that the children’s deaths were caused by “homicidal violence pending investigation,” but evidence in arrest warrant affidavits released a few days after they were found indicates that they may have been smothered with pillows.
According to the affidavit, Tsygankova told police that she remembered cutting herself with a knife and taking pills because she “didn’t want to live,” but didn’t recall harming her children.
Tsygankova remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $2 million.