(NY DAILY NEWS) — More than a century after a tragic ending, the final Romanov mystery has been solved.
In a stunning announcement, the Russian Investigative Committee has confirmed that bones discovered in a forest near the city of Yekaterinburg are those of Russia’s last tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children, reported Deutsche Welle.
Approximately three dozen forensic tests were carried out on the bones prior to the declaration.
“Based on numerous expert findings, the investigation has reached the conclusion that the remains belong to Nicholas II, his family and persons from their environment,” the committee stated.
Nicholas; his German-born wife, Alexandra; and their five children: Anastasia, Maria, Tatiana, Olga and Alexei, were fatally shot on July 17, 1918, by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution.
The bodies of the royal family were originally believed to have been disposed of in a mineshaft and then charred by their executioners, according to Deutsche Welle.
But that was not the case, according to the Russian Investigative Committee.
“Our experiments denied the version that the bodies of the victims were destroyed with sulfuric acid and burned,” said investigation spokeswoman Alexandra Romanova.
Some Romanov remains were found in 1979, although the discovery would not be revealed until 12 years later when more body parts had been located.
In 2007, scientists conducting an excavation near the original burial found the remains of what they believed to be Alexei and Maria.
“Biological kinship with both parents has been established for both Alexei and Maria,” said Russian senior investigator Marina Molodtsova.
In total, 11 bodies were identified: the seven Romanovs, their doctor and three servants.
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Many people believed Grand Duchess Anastasia, who was 17 at the time of the execution, managed to escape the massacre. In the ensuing decades, several women claimed to be Anastasia; none more brazenly than Polish-born Anna Anderson.
After dying in 1984, future DNA tests of her hair and tissue samples proved Anderson was an impostor, according to Time.
The young royal’s alleged escape served as the basis for the 1956 film “Anastasia,” starring Ingrid Bergman in an Academy Award-winning performance.