Russian authorities on Saturday found the body of an American student who disappeared several days ago and arrested a man on suspicion of murder, local media reported.
The body of Catherine Serou, 34, was found in a wooded area near the city of Bor, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow, according to reports.
The US State Department confirmed Serou’s death in Russia on Saturday, without giving details about her death. “We are monitoring with local authorities about the causes of her death,” said a spokesman.
According to news reports, Serou was last seen Tuesday after getting into a car. Her mother, Beccy Serou, of Vicksburg, Mississippi, told NPR that her daughter had texted her saying, “I’m in a car with a stranger. I hope she is not being kidnapped.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee reported in a statement that a woman’s body was found in Bor and that a suspect with a history of serious crimes had been arrested, but did not name or reveal the woman’s cause of death.
Catherine Serou moved from California to Russia in 2019 to study law at a university in Nizhny Novgorot, a major city adjoining Bor, news outlets reported.
Beccy Seroy told NPR her daughter was in a rush to get to a clinic Tuesday and may have hopped into a passing vehicle.
“I think when she saw that the person was not driving to the clinic, but to a forest, she panicked,” said the mother.