Massena Man Describes Mysterious Animal Mutilation Leading Up To Wife's Death


The husband of a woman found dead in a pond at their Massena home early Monday morning is talking to 7 News. 

James Farbotnik described strange events leading up to his wife's death, including the mysterious mutilation of one of his horses.

He made the remarks Tuesday in the wake of the death of his wife, 43 year old Vinira Farbotnik, whose body had been found in a pond on the family's property on Route 37C at approximately 1 a.m. Monday.

Police called the death 'unusual'.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday afternoon on Vinira.

Police said, "The cause and manner of death are pending."

James Farbotnik said the coroner told him Vinira had no injuries and no bruising; toxicology results were pending.

He said his wife's body was released to him.

According to James, he, his wife and five children had been up late Sunday night.

He said Vinira had been inside a building at the back of the property preparing food for an Amish family the Farbotniks had been helping.

At around 11 p.m., he said he and the children went to look for Vinira.

When they reached the pond at approximately 1 a.m., James said he saw the children's capsized canoe and his wife's hand sticking out of the water.

He said he went into the water to rescue his wife while his 12 year old son, Neil, called 911.

James said the 911 dispatcher instructed him on performing CPR, but his wife did not respond.

"I'd gladly give my life for her's if I could. She wasn't just my wife, she was my best friend," he said.

He said police took him in for questioning for about eight hours, while his five children were placed into foster care.

James said Tuesday afternoon that he still doesn't know where his children are.

He said he married Vinira in Russia 15 years ago and the couple had five children together, ages 7, 9, 11, 12 and 14.

"She was just happy to be free in America," he said.

James owns a computer store in Massena and is well known in political circles.

There was a heavy police presence at the Farbotnik home and James Farbotnik's Main Street business on Tuesday.

James told 7 News that in the past three weeks, he has had a number of animals die mysteriously - two alpacas, a goat and calf.

He said a female horse had been genitally mutilated.

According to James, he reported all of the deaths to police.

He mentioned that a Massena woman, who lives a mile away, reported in April that the tongues were cut out of two of her horses.

James also said the family dog had been found dead about a year ago.

Shortly after that, he said someone left a death threat on his answering machine and mentioned the dog's death.

Throughout the day Monday, investigators and uniformed police were on scene.

At one point, police were seen examining a canoe.

The body was turned over to Donaldson Funeral Home.


Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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