The Prosecutor-General’s Office of Saudi Arabia has launched investigation into deaths of Tajik businessman Bakhtiyor Dodokhonov, his wife, and two sons, who have been found dead in the Saudi city of Medina, according to Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service.

Citing relatives of Bakhtiyor Dodokhonov, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service says the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Saudi Arabia got in touch with them in the evening of March 7 and asked them for consent to perform an autopsy.  

According to RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, Dodokhonov's parents said they suspect foul play.  They said they last spoke to Bakhtiyor by telephone on March 5.

Dodokhonov’s relatives said they contacted the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Dushanbe, because the family failed to return on time, and were told they had been “found dead in Medina.”

They say the law enforcement authorities are investigating two – killing by poisoning or killing by suffocation. 

Bakhtiyor Dodokhonov, his wife, and two sons will be buried in Medina.

Recall, Bakhtiyor Dodokhonov, his wife, and two sons – aged 8 and 12, were found dead in one of hotels in Medina, Saudi Arabia on March 5.

The 33-year-old Bakhtior Dodokhonov was the son of the former head of the Sharqi Ozod printing house, Manzourkhon Dodokhonov.   

Dodokhonov and his family traveled to Saudi Arabia in late February and were due to return on March 6.

They had reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah pilgrimage.  

The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Ḥajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.  Umrah is sometimes called the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or ‘lesser pilgrimage’, the Hajj being the ‘major’ pilgrimage which is compulsory for every Muslim who can afford it.  The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.

Meanwhile, Tajikistan’s relevant bodies have not yet released a statement on this tragic event.