Suspect in Russia arrested after American woman was found dead

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A central Russian court indicted on Sunday a murder suspect in the death of an American woman who was studying at a local university.

The body of Catherine Serou, 34, was found on Saturday in a wooded area near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400 km east of Moscow. She had been missing since Tuesday.

Her mother, Beccy Serou, of Vicksburg, Mississippi, told US National Public Radio that her daughter last texted her: “In a car with a stranger. Hope I’m not kidnapped. ”

Alexander Popov, a man who was arrested on suspicion of murder, sits behind glass in a courtroom in the town of Gorodets, 35 miles northwest of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Sunday.  (PA)
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Alexander Popov, a man who was arrested on suspicion of murder, sits behind glass in a courtroom in the town of Gorodets, 35 miles northwest of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Sunday. (PA)

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State news agency RIA-Novosti quoted the local court as saying that the suspect had taken her in his car, then took her to the wooded area, beaten and stabbed her “during a fight”. Russian news reports identified the suspect as Alexander Popov and said he had a history of violent crimes.

He faces life imprisonment if convicted of murder.

The body of Catherine Serou, a 34-year-old law student and California veteran, was found on Saturday morning.  (Deposit)

The body of Catherine Serou, a 34-year-old law student and California veteran, was found on Saturday morning. (Deposit)

Serou left California for Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod, media reported.

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Beccy Serou told NPR her daughter was in a rush to get to a clinic on Tuesday and may have gotten into a passing car.

“I think when she saw that the person was not driving to the clinic, but rather driving in a forest, she panicked,” Beccy Serou said.

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