A father detained for "killing a paedophile" who "raped" his 8-year-old daughter should not face a murder charge, insist Russians in a groundswell of support.
Alleged child sex attacker Oleg Sviridov, 32, kept mobile phone videos of his abuse of several children in Vintai village, Samara region, according to Russian authorities.
Rocket engine factory worker Vyacheslav M, 34, was drinking with his friend Sviridov, when he saw footage on the man's phone showing a rape of his daughter, who is now 9.
Other sickening videos allegedly showed earlier violent rapes of other village girls, aged 6 and 11.
The images indicated that the dead suspect had been abusing children for five years.
The father immediately confronted Sviridov, who fled, according to multiple reports.
Vyacheslav then reported the rapes to police, who launched a manhunt for Sviridov, godfather to the 8-year-old girl he "sexually abused".
But the distraught father found the alleged paedophile before police and stabbed him to death, he later told police. Before killing his former friend, the father reportedly made the man dig his own grave.
He claimed that Sviridov "stumbled on the knife during a quarrel" in a forest near the village.
The body of the alleged paedophile was found near the village on Thursday, more than a week after Vyacheslav had seen the abusive video.
The father was detained and the case is currently under investigation.
Criminal cases have also been opened into the sexual abuse of three children filmed on Sviridov's mobile.
But villagers and online commenters have demanded that Vyacheslav should not face a murder charge.
"He is not a murderer - he protected his daughter and our children too," said one local.
"Everyone is on his side."
Prominent TV journalist and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak told her followers: "All parents are standing up for the paedophile's killer."
Another commenter Anna Plekhanova said: "If the crime is proven by video facts, then is the girl's father wrong?"
Several people have contributed to a crowdfunding page raising money to help the dad with his legal fees.