Chinese international student missing since Saturday found alive, police say

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Chinese international student missing since Saturday found alive, police say

by - 4 min read

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UPDATE:A Chinese international student missing since Saturday from north of Toronto has been found alive and safe, Ontario Provincial Police say. 

Wanzhen Lu, 22, was found at a residence in Gravenhurst, Ont.

OPP Sgt. Jason Folz told CBC Toronto a resident found a man looking for help at the end of a driveway in the quiet cottage town, which is approximately 180 kilometres from Toronto.

When officers arrived, the man identified himself as Lu.

He has been taken to a nearby hospital for assessment of what appear to be minimal injuries.

York Regional Police are providing an update on the investigation at 11 p.m. ET. CBC Toronto is carrying the news conference live. 

This is a breaking development. The following story will be updated shortly. 


In the wake of an arrest in the abduction of Chinese international student Wanzhen Lu, new information is coming to light about the 22-year-old who police say was forced into a van by masked men in the parking garage of his Markham, Ont., condo building, north of Toronto.

York Regional Police announced a 35-year-old Toronto man was arrested in connection with the case early Tuesday morning. Police aren’t saying whether the man was one of four people who made off with Lu in the garage around 6 p.m. ET Saturday. 

No charges have yet been laid against the man, who police have not named.

Police say they are not aware of any ransom demanded for his release. 

As concern mounts for the student, CBC Toronto has learned that Lu is enrolled in a bachelor of business administration at Yorkville University. 

In a statement, the school’s director of communication Erin Hatfield said the school is aware of Lu’s disappearance and  is hoping for his safe return.

Lu, who also goes by the name “Peter,” drove a number of luxury vehicles, including a Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Range Rover, police confirmed to CBC Toronto on Tuesday. 

Lien put on Range Rover this week

It was in a Range Rover that police say Lu and a female friend arrived inside the parking garage Saturday moments before before a black Dodge Caravan appeared behind them.

Police said Monday that the pair may have been walking toward the elevators of the garage when three men with hoods pulled tightly around their faces got out of the van. A fourth person was driving the vehicle. 

One man, armed with a conductive energy weapon, or Taser, ran up to Lu.

There was a struggle that police described as “violent,” Lu resisted, and the man shocked him a number of times with the Taser. Police would not say how many times.

Lu was “dragged” into the van, police said. 

CBC Toronto has also obtained vehicle registration documents on the Range Rover showing a lien put on the vehicle as of March 25.

On Tuesday, the Range Rover remained in the garage. 

Meanwhile, police are not confirming that an Instagram page — picturing three vehicles matching the description of those Lu drove — belonged to him. They also warned of the possibility of false accounts purporting to be his.

Police are not confirming that an Instagram page — picturing three vehicles matching the description of those Lu — drove belonged to him. They have also warned of the possibility of false accounts purporting to be his. (Instagram)

Family ‘traumatized’

Police say members of Lu’s family arrived in Canada from China on Monday and are “traumatized” by their son’s abduction.

“We have been in touch with the family,” said police spokesperson Andy Pattenden.

“They’re asking for their privacy to be respected at this point in time. They’re obviously very concerned for Mr. Lu’s well-being as are we.”

Also on Tuesday, the Chinese consulate released a statement saying officials have been in touch with York Regional Police as well as the victim’s family.

“We contacted the YRP for all relevant details, asked them to spare no efforts to rescue the victim safely and take concrete measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens within our consular district,” the statement said.

Forensic investigators to comb through van

On Monday, police located the van into which Lu was forced, with Pattenden saying forensic investigators will now be combing through it in search of clues as to who may have been inside and where Lu may have been taken.

Police haven’t elaborated on where the van was found, except to say it was located somewhere in the city of Toronto thanks to a tip from a member of the public. 

York police released images of a getaway van, a black Dodge Caravan. It has since been located in Toronto. (York Regional Police)

Police have also said the female friend he was walking with at the time of the abduction was unhurt, and that she is co-operating with police. 

Meanwhile, officers are asking the remaining individuals involved to give themselves up to police. 

“It’s only a matter of time, essentially, for us that we start to get closer to who these people are,” said York Regional Police spokesperson Laura Nicolle in an interview with CBC Toronto Tuesday.

She said all available resources are being put toward the case and that homicide, missing persons, canine and organized crime units are involved.

This story originally appeared on CBC

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