Chinese student in US accused of slaying ex-girlfriend

The 29-year-old man, Ci Yongfei, is a sixth-year doctoral student in mathematics from China's Hebei province

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 September, 2013, 10:47am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 September, 2013, 1:28pm

A Chinese PhD student studying at University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in the US was arrested on Friday on suspicion of murdering a 25-year-old female Chinese student believed to be his ex-girlfriend, local newspaper the News Gazette reported.

The 29-year-old man, Ci Yongfei, is a sixth-year doctoral student in mathematics, according to his official university page. Ci is from China’s Hebei province and had studied in Beijing and Oregon State University prior to UIUC, according to the page.

A roommate of the victim, who was in the apartment during the killing and had been tied up by the suspect, escaped and alerted police officers after she ran into the building’s courtyard around 11am on Friday, said media reports.

Police apprehended Ci in a motel a few blocks away from the victim’s apartment. The university police issued alerts to students and faculty, but the campus was not locked down.

The identity of the victim was not disclosed. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of her death.

The Chinese consulate in Chicago confirmed that both the suspect and the victim were Chinese nationals.

The news has shocked the Chinese community in America. While many condemned the crime in online forums, some wondered what had triggered the killing.

"Judging by Ci's age, he started his PhD progam at a young age - this means he must be smart," one said.

"Was the long PhD years in the cornfields of Illinois finally taking its toll?," some others commented.


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