Authorities said they "do have reason to believe her stab wounds were self-inflicted"

By Darla Atlas and Greg Hanlon
Updated March 21, 2016 04:45 PM
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Credit: Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS/Getty

The estranged wife of the renowned Ukranian pianist now based in Texas who discovered his young daughters dead when he went to pick them up last Wednesday has been charged with their murders, PEOPLE confirms.

Sofia Tsygankova, 31, has been charged with two counts of capital murder of a person under 10 years of age for the alleged murders of 5-year-old Nika Kholodenko and 1-year-old Michela Kholodenko, Benbrook Police Commander David Babcock said at a Monday press conference.

“The exact cause of death we’re working on right now is homicidal violence,” Babcock said, though he did not provide additional details.

Babcock said authorities believe Tsygankova killed the children due to “physical evidence [that] was collected at the scene.” The girls were not stabbed, authorities previously told PEOPLE.

“We saw nothing of a physical nature,” Babcock previously added. “They looked like two little girls asleep.”

In addition to finding his daughters dead, the pianist, Vadym Kholodenko, 29, also discovered Tsygankova with stab wounds. Babcock said at the press conference that authorities “do have reason to believe her stab wounds were self-inflicted.”

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Tsygankova was taken to the hospital last Wednesday and is still under medical evaluation, Babock said. It is unknown whether she has an attorney or has entered a plea.

He declined to address whether she has a history of mental illness.

Kholodenko, born in Kiev, has performed as a pianist around the globe. In 2013, he won the gold medal at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The Dallas Morning News described one of his performances as “music-making as if from another world.”

The musician was scheduled to play with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra last weekend but was later replaced on the bill. The symphony issued a statement, saying it is “profoundly saddened by the tragic event suffered by our dear friend and artistic partner.”

Police are confident that Kholodenko had nothing to do with the murders.

“His reaction was pretty much what I would expect; it was appropriate for the situation. That’s the best way I could put it,” Babcock previously told PEOPLE. “We’ve seen absolutely no indication of deception on his part. We just don’t think he was involved in the homicides.”