Russian Man Charged With Murdering US Student Catherine Serou

Provided by The Canadian Press

Her body was found following a three-day search that had focused on a forested area beyond the city where Serou's cell phone was last detected. She had been missing since Tuesday.

"In a vehicle with a stranger". Russian news reports have identified the suspect as Alexander Popov and said he had a record of violent crimes.

On Friday, Serou's mother Beccy told USA radio NPR from MS that her daughter had moved to Nizhny Novgorod in 2019 and had sent her a final text Tuesday evening saying: "In a auto with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted", Serou recalled her daughter saying.

She lived just outside the city, which is 420km (260 miles) east of Moscow, and texted her mother just after 18:30 local time (15:30 GMT) on Tuesday.

Serou's mother revealed her daughter was in a rush to get to a clinic after a payment she made did not go through.

The Russian investigative committee reported that the suspect has "repeatedly" been convicted of "especially grave crimes".

Catherine Serou served in the Marines, went to Afghanistan, got a bachelor's in design and a master's in art history at the University of California, Davis.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow revealed it was "closely monitoring" the investigation and is giving "all appropriate assistance" to Serou's family in America.

"I think that when she saw that the person wasn't driving to the clinic, but instead was driving into a forest, she panicked", her mother said.

The committee said a suspect with prior convictions is in custody, but he has not been named.

The student was in Russian Federation to begin studying law while learning the language so she could return to the States and work as an immigration attorney, reports said.

She planned on applying to law school in the U.S.to become an immigration lawyer after completing a master's program at Lobachevsky University.

She had sat for a videotaped interview posted on a Russian Web site a year ago in which she laughed about the cultural differences between the US and Russia.

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