New information in the murder of a local college student

Irina Yarmolenko

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by By NATALIE DICK / NewsChannel 36 E-mail Natalie:

WCNC.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 1 at 4:11 PM

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New information in the murder of a local college student

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GASTONIA, N.C.-- New information has come out in the murder of a local college student.

Ira Yarmolenko's body was found along the banks of the Catawba River last year.

Now, five months after Gaston county cousins Neal Cassada, Jr. and Mark Carver were arrested and charged with her killing, the two men are again declaring their innocence.

"We didn't do it. I'm telling the God's honest truth," Carver told a judge back in December.

This time though, the two say they have evidence.

The results of DNA tests that exclude both men as a match to fingernail scrappings taken from Yarmolenko.

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What's more, the state lab didn't find their DNA on a bungee cord, nylon strap from her book bag or a draw string from her hoodie ... all apparently used to strangle her.

Still, prosecutors maintain some of the DNA collected from Yarmolenko's car does in fact match the suspects.

For Yarmolenko's family and friends the unsettling news comes at an already difficult time.

This week was the one year anniversary of her violent death.

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