Friend: Bellevue murder victim knew ex was capable of violence

Friend: Bellevue murder victim knew ex was capable of violence »Play Video
Nataliya Vabishchevich
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A close friend of the Bellevue woman found brutally murdered inside her home last week claims the victim had a history of problems with the man now accused of killing her.

Aleksey Konoplev is heartbroken about the death of his friend, Nataliya Vabishchevich.

"It's a huge shock for myself, for my family, and we still can't believe what happened," he said using a translator.

Police believe Vabishchevich's ex-husband, Aleksandr Polak, stabbed her more than 70 times. Polak was arrested in California three days after the murder. Police say he was trying to make his way into Mexico, and then Europe.

Konoplev said he lived with Vabishchevich for two years and they became close friends. She often told him about the problems she had with her ex husband, who she described as "a dangerous individual, according to Konoplev.

"Nataliya has mentioned on several occasions that if anything happens to her or her family, he'll be a suspect for sure," he said.

Konoplev said Vabishchevich even told him that Polak threatened to have someone kill her family in Belarus if she asked for child support during their divorce.

"She wanted him to just leave them alone and live his own life and not to contact them," Konoplev said.

He describes his friend as a wonderful person, a single mom working to support herself and her son, who is now without a mother and without a home.

"She was a great mom," he said. "She always cared about her family first."

Friends have set up a memorial fund for Vabishchevich. Donations can be made at any BECU location.