Moscow [Russia], June 21 (ANI): A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder after the death of an American student, who went missing in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region, a local court told CNN on Sunday.
The Gorodetsky City Court said the suspect, identified by the court only as P, has been detained until August 15 for murder. There has been no indication from the court that the suspect has entered a plea.
The suspect, born in 1977, has been convicted "repeatedly" of "especially grave crimes," said the Russian investigative committee (Sledcom).
A resident of the Nizhny Novgorod region was in police custody on suspicion of committing murder, Sledcom previously said. The person was cooperating with the investigation.
The US student named Catherine Serou, 34, was a master's student at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod studying law. She was reported missing from Tuesday. Her body was found in the Nizhny Novgorod region on Saturday.
On Thursday, investigators had opened a probe, considering it a possible homicide.
The court alleged in a statement Sunday that the suspect picked Serou up in his car last Tuesday, June 15, before killing her about an hour later.
According to the court's statement, the suspect saw the victim, identified as S, at a bus stop around 7 pm local time that night and offered her a ride.
At about 8 pm, the court alleged, the suspect stopped in a forested area where, during a quarrel, he hit the victim several times with his fist and stabbed her at least twice with a knife he had. The victim died of her injuries at the scene.
CNN reported that the US Embassy in Moscow had confirmed Serou's death in Russia.
"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities' investigation into the cause of death. We are providing all appropriate assistance to the family," it told CNN.
The Russian investigative committee (Sledcom) said in a statement on Saturday that the body of a "foreign citizen who went missing in the Nizhny Novgorod Region" had been found.
"Thank you all for your help trying to get Catherine home safe," Beccy Webb Serou, Catherine's mother, wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
"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," she added. (ANI)