KHARKIV  - The beheaded bodies of a Ukrainian judge and three members of his family have been found in their apartment in the eastern city of Kharkiv, police said Sunday as they searched for those responsible for the killings. The gruesome crime scene was uncovered a day earlier by a relative, who found the bodies of Judge Vladimir Trofimov, his wife Irina, their son Sergei, and the son’s girlfriend, Marina Zoueva. As of Sunday evening, the corpses’ heads had not been found, officials said. The son appeared to have been decapitated while alive, whereas the other victims’ heads were removed after they were already dead, Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko said.

 Prosecutor Viktor Pshonka said the quadruple slaying had been carefully planned. At least three motives were being considered, including whether the killings were connected to the judge’s professional activities, or were the result of a robbery gone bad at his home. Vladimir Trofimov was also a renowned antiques collector. The slayings could have also been carried out by a contract killer, Pshonka said, adding that investigators would consider any other possible motive. The probe is being closely watched by President Viktor Yanukovich. Witnesses saw the 58-year-old judge leave his apartment, then return between 8:30 and 10:00 am on Saturday.