After almost two years of investigation, it has been confirmed Mikus Alps died from a shotgun wound to the head, although the mystery over whether anyone else was involved in his death continues.
Guernsey's Royal Court heard details of the police investigation into the 33-year-old's death, which has now come to a close.
Alps' skeletal remains were found in a burnt-out car near Petit Bot in January 2018. Since then, there has been speculation over his ties to Ukranian fighters, with one Ukranian Volunteer Army leader directly linking Russians with Mr Alp's death.
Although his friends said Mr Alps believed he was being followed and threatened by Russians in the weeks leading up to his death, Guernsey Police were not able to prove this.
Pictured: The fire started in the front passenger compartment of the car.
Experts decided there were two ways in which Mr Alps could have been shot. While it's possible one of the scenarios could have been self-inflicted, the other could not have been because of the angle of the shotgun shell and injury caused. Following joint examinations, they agree it is not possible to favour either scenario.
The shotgun is thought to have been registered to Mr Alps and was found in the burnt out car.
Expert evidence also noted some unexplained fractures in both Mr Alps' arms. It has been suggested the injuries could have been heat-related but this can't be confirmed.
"At this stage it is helpful to refer to the opinion of the Home Office Pathologist where he comments generally that the scenario of a fire damaged body in a burnt out vehicle with evidence of shotgun discharge is suggestive of the involvement of others in his death," Her Majesty's Procurer told Judge Graeme McKerrell.
Pictured: Mikus Alps.
Following forensic examination, Mr Alps was found to have consumed MDMA shortly before his death, which is known to bring on various symptoms including visual hallucinations. A forensic toxicologist also noted the presence of two class B drugs and an anti-inflammatory.
The Court heard how Mr Alps was in thousands of pounds of debt when he died. He had previously mentioned depressed or suicidal thoughts, but there was no firm intention to take his own life in January last year.
Judge McKerrell noted the "extensive and apparently comprehensive investigation" carried out by Guernsey Police. However, he was unable to establish whether the wound was self-inflicted or caused by someone else and therefore gave an 'open' verdict to the inquest.
Guernsey Police Superintendent Operations Phil Breban gave a statement following the inquest.
Pictured: Guernsey Police offered their condolences.
He said: “I wish to express my thanks and pay tribute to the family of Mr Alps for their patience and understanding in what has been a very difficult time for them during the course of this investigation.
"Guernsey Police have undertaken a comprehensive investigation which has included consulting forensic experts in the UK and seeking governance and advice from the National Crime Agency. The investigating officers have kept an open mind to the facts and the circumstances throughout this case, which has been approached in a methodical and structured manner and all investigative opportunities have been explored.
"I would like to thank all Bailiwick Law Enforcement staff who have been involved in this case acknowledging their commitment and contribution. Once again, I would like to offer Mr Alps’ family our condolences and hope they can now move on from a very difficult time for all of their family.”
Pictured top: The burnt out car was found at Petit Bot.
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