An American student and former Marine was found dead in Russia days after texting her mom: 'I hope I'm not being abducted'

·2 min read
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The square on December 27, 2020. Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty Images
  • An American student and former Marine was found dead in Russia on Saturday, days after she went missing.

  • Catherine Serou had texted her mom Tuesday saying, "I hope I'm not being abducted," NPR reported.

  • A suspect with prior convictions is in custody, though he has not been named.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An American citizen and former Marine who was studying in Russia was found dead Saturday, several days after she went missing, Russian media reported.

Catherine Serou, 34, was last seen Tuesday getting into a car. NPR reported she had texted her mother, Beccy Serou of Mississippi, that day to say: "In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted."

Russia's Investigative Committee said Serou's body was found in a wooded area near Bor, about 250 miles from Moscow, after a large search, The Associated Press reported. The cause of death has not been provided.

The committee said a suspect with prior convictions is in custody, but he has not been named.

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Beccy Serou told NPR she believed her daughter may have gotten into a stranger's car accidentally instead of an Uber because she was in a rush to get back to a clinic where a payment she made did not go through.

"I think that when she saw that the person wasn't driving to the clinic, but instead was driving into a forest, she panicked," she told NPR Friday.

Serou moved to Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod. Previously, she served in the Marine Corps and completed one tour in Afghanistan.

A video posted by Russian news site NN.RU last year shows Serou talking about the differences between the US and Russia, while alternating speaking in English and Russian.

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