Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced this morning that they had arrested a suspect in the murder of orthodontist Daniel Malakov. Kelly said that the suspect, Mikhail Mallayev, was a relative (by marriage) of Malakov's ex-wife.
Malakov was shot in the chest after just after dropping his 4-year-old daughter Michelle to his ex-wife at a Queens playground on Sunday morning. He and his wife, Dr. Mazeltuv Borukhova, had been embroiled in a bitter divorce and custody dispute over their child and Malakov had been recently awarded temporary custody.
A homemade silencer was left at the crime scene and police were able to lift fingerprints off of it. Eight latent prints matched those of Mallayev, whose fingerprints were in the system because of a 1994 fare beating arrest. Mallayev, a resident of Chambee, Georgia, is in custody in Georgia and is awaiting extradition. He also seems to match the sketch created from witnesses.
Malakov's family had long insisted that Borukhova's family was involved in the murder. WCBS 2 interviewed Borukhova last week who said she had nothing to do with her ex's death and pointed out that she performed CPR on Malakov until EMS arrived. She also added, "Believe it or not, I do understand my in-law's anger. They just lost a son who was 34-years-old and they have to blame somebody and I'm the easy target."
Clearly the police will investigate any other connection between Borukhova and Mallayev. It's possible that Borukhova knew nothing of Malleyev's involvement, but a State Senator did testify in a family court hearing that Borukhova's sister had asked her what would happen to custody of little Michelle if something happened to her father. Michelle remains in custody of ACS, as a family court judge has been trying to determine where she should go. WCBS revealed that in spite of the fact that the 4-year-old witnessed her father's murder, she only received counseling weeks later.