A former US Navy is found dead in Russia after taking a tour with a stranger and nervously texting her mother: “I hope I’m not kidnapped,” according to reports.
The body of Catherine Serou, a 34-year-old law student and California veteran, was found on Saturday morning in a forest outside the suburb of Bor where she lived in western Russia – about an hour later the arrest of a 44-year-old man. in his disappearance, the Moscow Times and NPR said.
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Serou was missing on Tuesday night as she walked to a business to try and resolve a payment issue quickly, her mother told NPR.
The Afghanistan war vet may have gotten into a car that passed for an elevator rather than wait for his Uber, said his mother, Beccy Serou, of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
“In a car with a stranger. I hope I’m not kidnapped,” Catherine wrote to her mother in her last text.
The mother told NPR that she had no idea what happened to her daughter next, but: “I think when she saw that the person was not driving to the clinic but that instead she was heading towards a forest, she panicked.
“Her phone last rang on a cell phone tower in this forest,” the mother said.
A surveillance photo reportedly showed Catherine staring out the open passenger side window of a silver car as she disappeared.
More than 100 volunteers scoured local forests last week looking for any signs of the law student – before her alleged killer was handcuffed, authorities said. The accused has not been identified, but he has previous convictions and is cooperating, they said, according to the Moscow newspaper.
The US embassy in Moscow said it was “closely monitoring” the investigation into Catherine’s death.
The student was in Russia to start studying law while learning the language so that she could return to the United States and work as an immigration lawyer, according to reports.
She had sat down for a videotaped interview posted to a Russian website last year in which she laughed at the cultural differences between the United States and Russia.
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Catherine was enrolled at Lobachevsky University about 250 miles east of Moscow to study in her LLM program, after earning a BA in design and an MA in art history from the University of California. to Davis, according to reports.
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