Family asks for help solving Battle Ground woman's death

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

Updated: June 8, 2012, 6:37 PM

 

Reward for information

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

To report a tip, visit crimestoppersoforegon.com or call 503-823-4357.

People can also contact Battle Ground police directly at cityofbg.org/tips or call Detective Joshua Phelps at 360-342-5242 or joshua.phelps@cityofbg.org.

Tatyana Tupikova was a cheerful person who put others before herself and loved to put flowers in her hair — even when they didn’t match with her outfit, her family said.

“If we teased her (about the flowers), she would say with a smile, ‘You’re just jealous because I’m beautiful,’ ” her sister, Olga Tupikova, told reporters Friday at the Battle Ground Police Department.

Tupikova, 22, was found in a ditch on the east side of Highway 503 north of the Battle Ground Cinemas on May 11. Police believe she is the victim of a hit-and-run driver and are still investigating the case.

Tatyana Tupikova was one of 14 children. She had many nieces and nephews and looked forward to having her own children some day, her sister said.

Saturday would have been her 23rd birthday.

On Friday, her family asked the community to help police discover what happened the night she went missing.

“Today, we are here to ask for the public’s help,” Olga Tupikova said. “Please help us find out what happened that night.”

On May 9, Tupikova told her family she was going to meet friends for frozen yogurt at Yo Factory near Wilco on East Main Street. She texted her friends to say she was too tired to make it.

Battle Ground spokeswoman Bonnie Gilberti said police believe Tupikova was hit by a vehicle while walking home around 9 p.m. on May 9 after seeing “The Avengers” at the Battle Ground Cinemas. She was walking north on the east side of Highway 503, Gilberti said.

Her body was found two days later.

An autopsy performed at the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of Tupikova’s death as blunt-force trauma.

Highway 503 is a busy road, so police believe there were cars in the area, and someone may have seen something, Gilberti said.

Battle Ground’s detective unit, a detective and detective sergeant, have been working the case with the help of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Washington State Patrol.