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Russian man arraigned on murder charge in killing of ex-US Marine Catherine Serou

An ex-convict with a history of violent sex crimes has appeared in a Russian court on charges he murdered former US Marine Catherine Serou, who had texted her mom, “I hope I’m not being abducted.”

Alexander Popov, 43, was filmed wearing a camouflage T-shirt and nervously fiddling with his hands in the courtroom dock late Saturday after the missing American law student’s body was found earlier that day in a wooded area.

He was arraigned on a murder charge after allegedly confessing to raping and then stabbing Serou, a 34-year-old veteran, and leaving her for dead, according to the East2West news agency.

Popov has a lengthy rap sheet that includes convictions for rape and sexual assault, as well as hooliganism and robbery, the agency said.

Serou — who moved from California to Russia in 2019 to study law at Lobachevsky University — had gone missing Tuesday evening.

Alexander Popov is a suspect in the murder of Catherine Serou. He is seen sitting behind the glass in a courtroom in the city of Gorodets, Russia.
Alexander Popov is a suspect in the murder of Catherine Serou. He is seen sitting behind the glass in a courtroom in the city of Gorodets, Russia.
(AP Photo/Roman Yarovitsyn
Officials search for 34 year old US citizen Catherine Serou in Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia.
Officials search for 34 year old US citizen Catherine Serou in Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia.
NN Pravda

In a rush, she appears to have accepted a ride from a passing driver rather than waiting for an Uber, her mom, Beccy Serou, of Vicksburg, Mississippi, told NPR.

“In a car with a stranger. I hope I’m not being abducted,” she texted her mom.

Popov allegedly told interrogators that he drove her to a forest outside Nizhny Novgorod where he raped her before pummeling her with his fists, East2West reported.

He then stabbed her three times “before leaving her to die in the forest” outside the Bor suburb where she lived, the agency said, citing police.

Catherine Serou was allegedly stabbed three times before being left in the forest.
Catherine Serou was allegedly stabbed three times before being left in the forest.
Valeria Alexandrova
A still from a surveillance video shows one of the last known images of Catherine Serou before she went missing.
A still from a surveillance video shows one of the last known images of Catherine Serou before she went missing.
IC Russia

Popov was ordered held for two months. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted, according to The Associated Press.

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

With Post wires

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