Cold Case Wiki
Kateryna 2005
Kateryna in 2005
Kateryna 2007
Kateryna in 2007
Kateryna Yechenko
Portrayed by Helena Mattsson
Episode Cargo
Status Arrested

Kateryna Yechenko (or Katya) was a a young woman from Eastern Europe brought to the United States as part of a human trafficking ring by "Nachalnik" AKA Linda Boyka. In 2005, she escaped when she betrayed another girl, Lena Golovnka, and murdered Mike Chulaski, who'd been trying to help Lena. Katya was arrested for the murder when the case was reopened two years later.


Little is known of Katya's life before she became involved in Nachalnik's ring. She endured a life of forced prostitution, serving as many as ten men a day. She resisted at first, believing someone would save her, but soon gave up such hope. She was also treated at one point for a drug overdose.

In 2005, Mike came to 12 Pearl Street, the house where Katya, Lena, and other girls where being held, hoping to find and rescue Lena, who had been abducted and brought there by Kiril, one of Boyka's men. Mike bribed Katya to take him to the back room where Lena was being kept for resisting. He was unable to walk Lena out as her feet had been burned with a cigarette by Boyka as punishment. Katya tried to tell him that he was only making things worse by getting Lena's hopes up and that he could not save her. Mike didn't listen until she warned him Nachalnik was coming. Boyka entered moments later and had her enforcer Yuri drag Mike out.

Mike was later able to make a deal with Boyka to buy Lena's freedom. He would make the exchange with Kiril at a motel while Lena was kept in another room, with Katya watching over her. Lena was clearly excited at living with Mike. Katya, who was older, jaded, and perhaps resentful, still warned her not to get her hopes up. She then answered a phone call meant for Lena. It was Kiril, telling her to stay put and he'd be back in an hour. Katya sensed an opportunity to escape and lied to Lena that Mike now wanted a girlfriend for sex, and had asked for her instead. Leaving the heartbroken and crying Lena behind, she headed over to the room Mike was in.

Katya walked in and was told Kiril was going to inspect Mike's boat, which he'd offered to trade for Lena. When Mike asked where Lena was, Katya lied again and said she wasn't there, then tried to seduce him. When he rebuffed her, she broke down and begged him to rescue her instead. Mike was sympathetic but said he only wanted Lena, offering to help Katya once he had her. She continued to desperately plead with him but he only apologized.

In a moment of anger and frustration, Katya picked up a lamp and hit Mike over the head with it repeatedly, killing him. She stared at Mike's lifeless body for a moment, unsure of what to do next, until her eyes fell on his feet, giving her an idea. She removed his shoes and socks and burned the soles of his feet, hoping to frame Nachalnik for the murder. She then took his boat keys and fled.

Katya was able to sell Mike's boat and used the money to start a day spa in the town of Bellport, Long Island. She lived comfortably for two years until Detectives Scotty Valens and Kat Miller arrived and started asking questions about Mike. She feigned ignorance at first until it became clear to her that they had no idea what happened. Katya lied when they asked how she got away from Pearl Street, saying she went on her own and built up a nest egg after she became too old for the ring. Katya gave up Boyka's identity as Nachalnik and told the detectives of Mike coming to Pearl Street for Lena, along with Nachalnik's habit of burning feet, making it appear as if she was Mike's killer.

Her plan appeared to have worked until Scotty returned with Detective Will Jeffries. They had questioned Boyka and Kiril, found Lena, and now knew Katya had been at the motel as well. She defended her actions by reminding them of the life she had endured and that no one had ever come for her as Mike had for Lena. She even claimed that she had to sacrifice a lot for her freedom and Mike was no different from the men who abused her. Nevertheless, Katya was arrested, along with Boyka and Kiril.