Sep 30, 2014 03:10 AM EDT
Body of Missing ISU Student Found in Car Truck in Iowa City
The body found in a car in Iowa City last week has been confirmed as that of the missing student of Iowa State University.
Police officials have not yet determined the cause of death of 20-year-old Tong Shao from China. Sgt. Scott Gaarde said that an autopsy is being conducted to find out the actual cause of death.
Xiangnan Li, a 23-year-old University of Iowa student from China, is a prime suspect in the case. Li, a fourth year finance major, is believed to have flown to his home country since the incident.
Police officials declined to reveal what kind of relationship they shared.
"We're not going to release the specifics of their relationship, other than they're known associates," Gaarde said, kcrg reports. "There's obviously going to be some challenges in an investigation involving some other country, as opposed to a neighboring jurisdiction."
"The next steps for us would be to investigate all leads, including speaking to witnesses and other people who may have information about the death of Ms. Shao," he said.
Police officials discovered Shao's body Friday night at Dolphin Lake Point Enclave in Iowa City. It was found lying in the trunk of a beige 1997 Toyota Camry with Kentucky plates. They claimed that the body with no obvious injuries had perhaps been in the car for a long period of time.
Shao was reported missing from Ames on Sept. 17 and was last heard of by her friends on Sept.8, when she was heading north to Minnesota after a friend's visit in Iowa City.
Shao and Li seemed to have been involved in a cordial relationship. They became friends on Facebook in 2012.
On Aug.25, Shao posted a picture on Facebook of herself in a shirt that read, "I am Tong, nice to meet you." She thanked her roommate for the "cute T-shirt." The picture had one comment from Li in Mandarin that read, "Tired of all that beauty Tong Tong."
According to court records, when Li was pulled over in Coralville for failure to obey a traffic control device, he gave a home address in Ames that was also listed by Shao in the Iowa State student directory.
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