Student's chilling last message to mum before body found in bush

·2-min read

A mum has revealed the final text her 34-year-old daughter sent her before she was murdered.

Catherine Serou, from the US, had been missing in Russia since Tuesday (local time) but on Saturday her body was found in a wooded area near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400km east of Moscow.

Mother Beccy, from Vicksburg, Mississippi, told the US's National Public Radio her daughter had last texted her: “In a car with a stranger. I hope I’m not being abducted.”

Catherine Serou, 34, is pictured.
Catherine Serou, 34, was found dead in Russian woods. Source: Beccy Serou via CBS

State news agency RIA-Novosti cited the local court as saying the suspect gave her a ride in his car, then took her to the wooded area, and beat her and stabbed her "in the course of a dispute".

The suspect has been identified by Russian news outlets as Alexander Popov and it was said he had a record of violent crimes.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder.

Ms Serou moved from California to Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod, news reports said.

Alexander Popov. who was arrested on suspicion of murder. sits behind the glass in a courtroom in the city of Gorodets.
Alexander Popov has been named as the accused. Source: AAP

Her mum told NPR her daughter was in a hurry to get to a clinic on Tuesday and may have got into a passing car.

“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 said.

Ms Serou's sister, Marie Claire, told CBS Sacramento: "It does not feel real.

"She was just a brilliant, wonderful person."

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