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The Region

An autopsy on a Russian emigre who was one of 75 prosecution witnesses in the spy trial of former FBI Agent Richard W. Miller failed to establish the cause of her death, although it did reveal cuts and bruises on her head and body. Ludmila Kontratjeva, 38, of Santa Monica, was found dead in a car that veered off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The death is being investigated as a possible homicide by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department because the body was found in the back seat, but investigators said it could “easily be an accident.” A coroner’s spokesman said further tests will take about two weeks. Kontratjeva was considered a minor witness in the Miller trial, and government sources dismissed the possibility of any foul play connected to the espionage case.


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