Chi­nese col­lege stu­dent found slain

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - Judy Zhu in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

A Syra­cuse Univer­sity stu­dent from China was found dead on Sept 30, the vic­tim of an ap­par­ent homi­cide, in DeWitt, New York, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

The Onondaga County Sher­iff’s Of­fice iden­ti­fied the vic­tim as Yuan Xiaopeng, 23, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing his body be­hind the Spring­field Gar­den Apart­ments on Caton Drive, near Le­moyne Col­lege, on the af­ter­noon of Sept 30. DeWitt is about five miles from Syra­cuse.

De­tec­tives are look­ing for a pos­si­ble mo­tive in the killing. DeWitt po­lice re­sponded to 911 calls from res­i­dents in the apart­ment com­plex who re­ported hear­ing gun­shots, stu­dent web­site dai­ly­or­ re­ported.

Po­lice searched the scene near a wooded area. State troop­ers also ar­rived with K-9 dogs and en­tered sev­eral build­ings, the web­site said.

Yuan was a ju­nior study­ing math­e­mat­ics in the Col­lege of Arts and Sciences.

His Face­book page says he is from Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, but the sher­iff’s of­fice and univer­sity said he is from Bei­jing.

A black Chevro­let Ca­maro be­lieved to be Yuan’s car with cus­tom li­cense plates that read “SWAG PIP” was found in a park­ing lot near where his body was found, syra­ re­ported. Yuan’s Face­book page has a pic­ture of him sit­ting on a car fit­ting that de­scrip­tion.

Yuan’s last Weibo post, on Sept 29, is a group photo of him and his bas­ket­ball team. More than 150 peo­ple had com­mented on the so­cial me­dia site by 8 pm Mon­day with “R.I.P” and a can­dle­light emoji un­der­neath.

Re­becca Reed Kantrowitz, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent and dean of stu­dent af­fairs at Syra­cuse, said in an email to the univer­sity com­mu­nity on Satur­day night that the school is try­ing to as­sist the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and to com­fort Yuan’s fam­ily.

“I join Chan­cel­lor Syverud, and the en­tire com­mu­nity dur­ing this painful time, in ex­tend­ing our heartfelt con­do­lences to his fam­ily, friends and all who knew him,” Kantrowitz said. “Our thoughts are with all of those griev­ing his loss.”

“I don’t know Yuan in per­son, but it’s so sad when some­one just passes away in your neigh­bor­hood. And it’s not just him. Since I came here, there have been sev­eral deaths among Chi­nese stu­dents on cam­pus,” said Kate, a Chi­nese stu­dent who has been in Syra­cuse for two years and de­clined to give her full name.

The last death of Chi­nese stu­dents in Syra­cuse oc­curred in a car crash in DeWitt on Oct 22, 2015, that killed two and in­jured one.

The Chi­nese Con­sulate Gen­eral in New York con­tacted lo­cal po­lice and the univer­sity im­me­di­ately. The con­sulate also sent out a no­tice on Mon­day aimed at in­creas­ing safety aware­ness.

“We have got in con­tact with the vic­tim’s fam­ily, and we will fol­low up closely on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the no­tice says.

The univer­sity’s Slutzker Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Ser­vices, in an email on Sun­day, said that the cen­ter and the Chi­nese Stu­dents and Schol­ars As­so­ci­a­tion are pre­par­ing for Yuan’s par­ents to ar­rive in the US.

Yuan Xiaopeng

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