A court in central Russia on Sunday arraigned a suspect on murder charges in the death of an American woman who was studying at a local university. The body of 34-year-old Catherine Serou was found Saturday in a wooded area near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles east of Moscow. She had been missing since Tuesday.

Her mother, Beccy Serou, of Vicksburg, Mississippi, told National Public Radio that her daughter had last texted her: "In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted."

Her sister, Marie Claire Serou, told CBS Sacramento that it's unclear if the text was sent by her or someone else.

"It's hard to say whether she wrote it or whether her phone was taken and someone in the car wrote it, but I know that she was terrified in that car," Marie Claire Serou said.

State news agency RIA-Novosti cited the local court as saying the suspect gave her a ride in his car, then took her to the wooden area and beat her and stabbed her "in the course of a dispute." Russian news reports have identified the suspect as Alexander Popov and said he had a record of violent crimes.

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