Suspect arraigned in killing of American student in Russia MOSCOW


Authorities in Russian Federation have charged a man with murder in the death of USA student Catherine Serou, who went missing last week and was later found dead.

The suspect, identified by the Gorodetsky City Court in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region as "P", will be detained until August 15 for the alleged crime.

Earlier this week, investigators said that a 34-year-old foreign woman who lived just outside Nizhny Novgorod, a city some 420 kilometres (260 miles) east of Moscow, had gone missing after getting into an unidentified vehicle.

Investigators said that her last communication before going missing was with her mother just after 6:30 pm local time (1530 GMT) on Tuesday, telling her that she was travelling in a vehicle with unknown people. Russian news reports have identified the suspect as Alexander Popov and said he had a record of violent crimes.

Serou said she had been in touch with police in Nizhny Novgorod multiple times since her daughter's disappearance, as well as with officials at Lobachevsky University. Serou died of her injuries at the scene. "I hope I'm not being abducted", the text read.

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Beccy Serou, the victim's mother, told NPR on Saturday that the last text she received from her daughter was regarding the ride she took with Popov.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss", the embassy said.

In a statement to NPR, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said it was "closely monitoring local authorities' investigation into the cause of death" and "providing all appropriate assistance to the family". She sold her condominium to help pay for study in Russian Federation to get a master's in law at Lobachevsky University, her mother 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.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder.