On the night of July 17, 1918, the Russian Imperial family, consisting of Emperor Nicholai II; his wife, Empress Alexandra Fedorovna; his children, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Anastasia, and Tsesarevich Alexei; their doctor, Eugene Botkin; Alexandra’s maid, Anna Demidova; Nicholas’ Valet, Alexei Trupp; and Ivan Kharitinov, the cook. A total of eleven people were murdered in the basement storeroom of the Ipatiev House. The executioners, under the command of Yakov Yurovsky, had been ordered to shoot all prisoners and to destroy the evidence of what happened. On July 25, 1918, White Army troops entered Ekaterinburg.

The investigation of the murder of the Imperial Family and servants commenced on July 30, 1918. Traces of the murder were found immediately, but the bodies were never found. Two previous investigators searched for clues as to their whereabouts, but the last investigator, before the fall of Ekaterinburg to the Bolsheviks, Nikolai Sokolov, was able to thoroughly search the Open Mine shaft in the Four Brothers mine area where it was believed that the bodies, clothing and other belongings of the Family were allegedly destroyed. 

With the fall of Ekaterinburg to the Bolsheviks, in 1919, Sokolov left without having the opportunity to find the remains of the Romanovs or their retainers

The Sokolov Box is a Russian Army suitcase used by Investigator Sokolov to carry the proof of a murder. The Box was taken to Vladivostok by Sokolov, then to Harbin, China, by French General Janin. Sokolov took the Box back from Janin andwent to Japan, where he met up with General Rozanov and his family. Finally, the Box was taken to Europe.