The man suspected in the disappearance and death of Iowa State University student Tong Shao, 20, has been arrested in China, police say.
According to the press release, Criminal Investigation Bureau of China also assisted in the case after Iowa City police contacted the Chinese Ministry of Public Security after learning Li had fled to China.
Sept. 7: Li allegedly kills Shao and flees to China, according to authorities.
Shao said he was told that Li would be put on trial in China, instead of being extradited to the USA.
“I’m not sure they would have prosecuted him if it was not a Chinese citizen that was the victim”, she said.
And Iowa City police likely will do more than play host to investigators and hand over evidence.
A convicted “intentional killer” could be punished to a death, life imprisonment, or imprisonment moer than 10 years, according to Chinese law.
“The Chinese apply the law to its citizens even if he or she commits a crime overseas”, Monday’s release said.
“I think the Chinese government needed to do something because of the pressure of the girl’s family and public opinion”, Tang said, noting that if Li had a trial in China, it would quiet unrest and still satisfy Shao’s family, who have spoken to worldwide media, including CNN Beijing, about their desire for justice.
There was tiny precedent for a case like this, where a Chinese student was wanted for questioning in the killing of another Chinese student in the USA. Shao was reported missing by her roommates on September 17.
Dierson says they had to work through some things to present the evidence to the Chinese delegation.
Although he still has sleepless nights due to grief, Shao said some of his depression has lifted.
“It is frustrating, that we would much rather be prosecuting him here, under our laws and based on the fact that he did it here, we want to make it clear that people should not get away with kill”, Lyness said.
According to police records obtained by CNN, two days earlier Tong had accidentally called Li – or ‘pocket dialed’ him – and he stayed on the line for 30 minutes, overhearing a conversation.
A “Premium Quality” towel – the same kind used at the Budget Inn – was found wrapped around Shao’s head when her body was found.
Shao Tong, found slain in Iowa, pictured in Facebook photo. On September 26, 2014, the Iowa City Police Department located a Toyota Camry belonging to Shao parked in the area of 2401 Hwy #6 East in Iowa City.
By then, Li had been named as a person of interest.
‘This message was purportedly from (Tong) and read that Li had an emergency in China and was flying back there, that she was going to take a bus to Minnesota to visit friends, and she would return in about a week, ‘ the police documents stated.
Wenfang Tang, the UI Stanley Hua Hsia professor of political science and global studies, said the Chinese government doesn’t have legal obligation to send Li back to Iowa City to have a trial in the United States.