An American student and former Marine was found dead in Russia on Saturday, June 19, which comes just a few days after she went missing.
34-year-old Catherine Serou was last seen Tuesday getting into a car, according to reports from NPR. Prior to going missing, she texted her mother, Beccy Serou of Mississippi, to say: “In a car with a stranger. I hope I’m not being abducted.”
Unfortunately, it seems like that’s exactly what happened.
According to reports from The Associated Press, 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 cause of death has not yet been provided, and while the committee said a suspect with prior convictions is in custody, he has not been named.
Following the tragic incident, Beccy Serou told NPR she believed her daughter may have gotten into a stranger’s car on accident instead of an Uber, all 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 the publication on Friday.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said in a statement that they were “closely monitoring” the incident alongside local authorities and that they are providing “appropriate assistance to” Serou’s family.
After serving in the Marine Corps and completing one tour in Afghanistan, Serou moved to Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod.
Beccy Serou added that the last time she saw her daughter was almost two years ago when Catherine sold her condo in California to help finance her studies in Russia. According to Beccy, Catherine loved the university she was attending.
Prayers for the Serou family.