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Murdered: Katya Koren was attacked after taking part in a beauty contest but police say she may have been murdered by a stalker
At first it appeared that she had been stoned to death for disobeying Sharia law.

But glamorous Muslim beauty queen Katya Koren may actually have been battered with a rock by a crazed stalker after she spurned his advances.

The body of the 19-year-old was found dumped in a remote forest on the Crimean peninsula days after she went missing.

She had died in agony after suffering horrific blows to the head from stones or rocks.

Initial reports suggested that Ms Koren had been battered by three local men after flouting the strict Islamic law. Sharia law prohibits women from taking part in beauty contests.

But police have now said that Ms Koren may have been attacked by a deranged classmate who had been besotted with the teenager.

The man is believed to have given Ms Koren a ride on his moped before robbing her and possibly raping her. He may then have battered her to death with a rock.

'A student did it, killing his classmate. There is no other underlying reason, neither religious nor linked with inter-ethnic conflicts,' Sergei Reznikov, a senior policeman involved in the case, told the Telegraph.

Experts said that around 250,000 Muslims live in the area between Crimea and the Ukraine but that there had never been any major examples of religious violence in the past.
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Rural: Katya Koren lived in the Crimea region of the Ukraine where her body was found buried in woodland


There have also been virtually no cases of stoning being administered as a punishment in the desolate region.

Police said the main suspect in the case is 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev. They said he has a history of mental illness.

It is still not clear why Ms Koren was killed. Gazievhas reportedly confessed to the killing and is said to have told local media that the murder was carried out in the name of Sharia law.

Police said that more psychological tests are being carried out on the suspect.

Stoning is a divisive subject among Muslims, with some groups interpreting it as Islamic law and others disagreeing.

According to Amnesty International's annual report on death sentences worldwide, issued in April, there were no reports of judicial executions carried out by stoning in 2010.

At least 10 women and four men remained under sentence of death by stoning at the end of the year in Iran, where adultery is the only crime which carries that penalty under Sharia law.

It was widely imposed as a sentence in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran's judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are now often converted to other punishments.