MOSCOW (AP/CBS13) — Russian news reports said searchers on Saturday found the body of a UC Davis graduate who went missing several days earlier and that a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The body of Catherine Serou, 34, was found in a wooded area in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, approximately 250 miles east of Moscow, the reports said.
Serou reportedly went missing Tuesday after getting into a car with a stranger, NPR reported on Saturday.
The newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda said she sent an email to her mother expressing alarm that "unknown people" were driving her.
Her mother, Beccy Serou, told NPR that she received a message from her daughter prior to her disappearance that read: "In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted."
Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement that a suspect with a record of serious crimes had been arrested, but did not give names. The cause of death was not specified.
"Thank you all for your help trying to get Catherine home safe. Unfortunately, we got a call from the police this morning telling us they found her body. As our family processes this news we'll have more to say," Beccy Serou wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Serou moved from Northern California to Russia in 2019 to study law at a university in Nizhny Novgorod, a major city adjacent to Bor, news reports said.
"She was just a lovely person inside and out. She was inquisitive, she was articulate," said Jenny Kaminer, Serou's professor at UC Davis.
Serou was a former marine. According to a Russian news outlet, her body was found Saturday an hour after the suspect was arrested.
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