SALT LAKE CITY — The case against an Idaho couple accused of contributing to the death of a champion Utah speedskater was dismissed for further investigation Thursday.
Marina Billings and her husband, Robert, were facing charges of financial exploitation and aggravated abuse in relation to the death of champion Utah speedskater Boris Leikin, who was 68 years old when he died in July 2021 from a form of mad cow disease.
People who knew Leikin said he was very healthy until he met Marina Billings online and eventually moved to Idaho from his home in Cottonwood Heights. Police reported Leikin did not know Billings was married.
Investigators believed the Billings were trying to get Leikin to sign a will that would name Marina as the beneficiary when his health declined. Investigators could not say whether the couple intentionally got Leikin sick, which is why they were not facing murder charges.
New documents show that charges have been dismissed against the couple so the State can investigate the situation further.
Attorneys for the Billings said they are grateful the Salt Lake District Attorney recognized the death of Leikin as a tragedy.
"This ordeal has been a very difficult journey for the Billings," a statement reads. "They are glad to be vindicated of any negligence for their loving care of Boris Leikin as he fought back against this very difficult and fatal disorder, and that the Billings who loved and cared for Boris Leikin can now continue with their grieving process.
The statement goes on to say that in memory of Leikin, the Billings suggest people make a donation to the Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease Foundation.
Leikin was one of the oldest athletes to compete in the US Olympic Trials. He was a Masters World Champion and even set a Masters world record in 2006.