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A suspect was arrested and charged in Russia on Sunday over the murder of Catherine Serou, a student from the United States who disappeared last week.
The suspect, identified by the Gorodetsky City Court in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region as "P," will be detained until Aug. 15 for the alleged crime. Russian media further identified the suspect as Alexander Popov, who is in his 40s, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Thirty-four-year-old Serou's body was found on Saturday. She was a student at the State University of Nizhny Novgorod, which sits east of Moscow.
The suspect allegedly offered Serou a ride on Tuesday, the day she went missing. While in the vehicle, Popov allegedly stopped in a secluded area, hit the victim during an argument, and stabbed her at least twice with a knife he had, according to a report by CNN. Serou died of her injuries at the scene.
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.
"In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted," Serou recalled her daughter saying.
The Russian investigative committee reported that the suspect has "repeatedly" been convicted of "especially grave crimes."
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow offered its condolences in the death of Serou on Saturday.
"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss," the embassy told CNN. "We are closely monitoring local authorities' investigation into the cause of death. We are providing all appropriate assistance to the family."
The 34-year-old student moved from California to Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University. Beccy Serou said she last saw her daughter before her move and kept in touch with daily phone calls.
If convicted, Popov could face life in prison.
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Original Author: Mica Soellner
Original Location: Suspect charged in murder of American student in Russia