Suspect charged with murder in death of American student in Russia

Suspect charged with murder in death of American student in Russia
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A suspect has been arraigned in the suspected murder of an American student who was found dead in Russia this week, the Associated Press reports.

The body of Catherine Serou, 34, was discovered Saturday in a wooded area located about 250 miles from Moscow. She had been missing for four days.

Alexander Popov, who has a history of violent crime, is suspected to have driven Serou to the area, where he beat and stabbed her multiple times on June 15.

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He faces life in prison if convicted.

CNN reports that Serou, a master’s student at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod studying law, was waiting at a bus stop when Popov offered her a ride.

Serou's mother, Beccy Webb Serou, said the last text messages she received from her daughter indicated that she was wary of her situation.

"In a car with a stranger," she reportedly wrote. "I hope I'm not being abducted."

Serou's mother shared the news of her daughter's passing to Facebook early Saturday.

"Thank you all for your help trying to get Catherine home safe," she wrote. "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."

In a statement to The Hill, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow also confirmed the death.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death," the embassy said. "We are providing all appropriate assistance to the family."