Judge finds Benbrook mother ‘not guilty’ by reason of insanity in daughters’ murders

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FORT WORTH-- It's the finale that doesn't quite end. A state judge found a Benbrook mother not guilty of her two daughters' murders, by reason of insanity.

In 2016, Sofya Tsygankova  was charged with capital murder after her husband, world renowned pianist, Vadym Kholodenko, found their daughters smothered to death in the family's home.

He also found Tsygankova, alive, with self inflicted stab wounds.

The initial arrest affidavit said she was bleeding and confused when detectives got to the family's home. Investigators found a butcher knife and an empty bottle of pills on the counter that appeared to be filled just one day before.

She told police, "I think I committed suicide" and all she remembered was "a bad dream."

In court, doctors testified that Tsygankova had suffered from depression since she was 18. They said her mental health declined further, after her husband admitted being in love with their mutual friend and asked for a divorce. That was just months before the murders.

Doctors said from there she had bouts of anxiety and hallucinations.

Criminal justice expert, Dr. Katherine Brown says though this is rare, mother's who suffer from a mental disorder may think killing a child is the best solution.

"Often the parent that does choose to kill the child feels the child will be in pain either without the parent or is in pain and also tries to kill the child in addition to commit suicide," Dr. Katherine Brown said.

It seems this family ended on a tragic note. Though the mother won't spend time in jail, she's not exactly free.

She'll have to spend time in state mental hospital.

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