Suspect arraigned in killing of American student in Russia MOSCOW

Suspect arraigned in killing of American student in Russia MOSCOW

The body of 34-year-old Catherine Serou was found Saturday in a wooded area near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow. The two stayed in touch with daily phone calls, and Beccy said that on the day her daughter went missing, she received one final text message.

"It says: 'In a vehicle with a stranger".

Russian investigators said Saturday they have detained a man on suspicion of murder after finding the body of a foreign woman the media identified as a missing American student.

Her last communication was a text sent to her mother in MS in which she said: "In a auto with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted, '" said MS resident Beccy Serou.

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

Serou moved from California to Russian Federation in 2019 to study law at a university in Nizhny Novgorod, a major city adjacent to Bor, news reports said.

More than 100 volunteers scoured local forests last week for any sign of the law student - before her suspected killer was cuffed, authorities said.

"And that's the last thing she wrote", said Beccy Serou, who added she was hopeful for her safe return because she was a former US Marine who had done a tour in Afghanistan, according to NPR.

The mom told NPR she has no idea what happened to her daughter next but, "I think that when she saw that the person wasn't driving to the clinic but instead was driving into a forest, she panicked".

Catherine Serou, 34, was last seen Tuesday getting into a vehicle.

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. A search ensued, but she turned up dead early Saturday.

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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