Denis and Alina Bukhantsov, top photo, take a ride in a buggy in West Sacramento during their wedding on April 26, 2008 (Photo by Sacramento wedding photographer Sergey Bidun). Above, a recent photo of Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 19, was provided by a family friend.
The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has released the names of the three victims found slain in their Rancho Cordova duplex on Tuesday afternoon.
They are 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov and her children, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir.
Alina Bukhantsov's brother-in-law, 19-year-old Grigoriy Bukhantsov, is accused in the crime. He was arrested early this morning on suspicion of three counts of murder, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
All three of the victims had injuries "consistent with sharp force trauma," said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. They were found dead in their De Soto Way duplex about 3:30 p.m. by the husband of the woman, who is also the father of the children.
It is his brother who is the suspect in the brutal killings.
"We can't talk about the motive for sure, but we have found there were strained relationships in the family," Ramos said. "What the catalyst may have been for yesterday's horror, we don't know yet."
Grigoriy Bukhantsov was scheduled to be in court on Halloween day to be arraigned on a probation violation, Sacramento Superior Court records show.
He had been on probation since a felony conviction for burglary in December 2011, records show. He was sentenced to a year in jail and five years of probation as a result of his no-contest plea.
The nature of the probation violation was not immediately clear.
According to sources close to the family, Grigoriy Bukhantsov had a history of using hardcore narcotics.
Interviewed by phone today, Pavel Tsymbal, a family friend, said he briefly lived with the suspect after Grigoriy was released from jail on the burglary conviction. He said the living arrangement ended about a month ago.
"I was taking him to church with us, but he didn't want to change. After a month and a half we saw no change in him. It got dangerous having him in the house," said Tsymbal, who declined to go into specifics about the threats.
"I saw him like a week ago, and his eyes looked crazy," Tsymbal said. "His whole look was crazy."
Ramos said the suspect was a transient without an address of record.
"We think he stayed with different people at different times," including possibly the victim's home, he said.
"There was no forced entry, and family members have been talking to us about this guy," Ramos said. "We learned early on there was information that caused us to have an interest in this guy."
A van stolen from the residence was put into a law enforcement alert database, and Rocklin police officers spotted the van parked in a Rocklin Denny's restaurant. They contacted Sacramento deputies, who went into the restaurant about 2 a.m. and found the suspect sleeping in a booth. He surrendered to deputies without incident.
The suspect was taken to the police department for interviewing and booked into the county jail. At this time, he's believed to be the only suspect in the crime.
The bodies of the deceased were removed from the home, but crime lab technicians will be sifting through evidence at the residence throughout the day. The van was towed to be processed for evidence.
He couldn't say if the murder weapon had been recovered, because technicians are still running tests on evidence.
"We are conducting more interviews with family members to shore up our case," Ramos said.
Photo: Grigoriy Bukhantsov's police booking mug