Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
June 29, 2015 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Iowa City Police and Chinese Police Make Arrest in Tong Shao Homicide

This is a press release from the Iowa City Police Department. This is NOT a press release directly from the Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). The Iowa DCI is assisting with this investigation.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- On September 17, 2014, the Ames Police Department in Ames, Iowa, received a report that Iowa State University Chinese national student Tong Shao was missing.  On September 26, 2014, the Iowa City Police Department located a Toyota Camry belonging to Shao parked in the area of 2401 Hwy #6 East in Iowa City.  During this initial investigation a body was recovered from the trunk of the Toyota Camry.  Through investigative means the body located in the vehicle was positively identified as Tong Shao.  Xiangnan Li, with an address of 2401 Hwy East was immediately identified as a person of interest in this matter as possibly having information regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Shao.  Li was Chinese international student at the University of Iowa and a known associate of Ms. Shao with a reported intimate relationship.  Over the course of the subsequent investigation the Iowa City Police Department was able to determine that Li had returned to China.  The Iowa City Police Department subsequently contacted the Chinese Ministry of Public Security whereupon the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China initiated an investigation.  According to the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China,  it was then demanded the police of Zhejiang Province investigate allegations surrounding the murder of Ms. Shao.  Li Xiangnan surrendered himself to the police of Wenzhou on May 13th, 2015, and was detained on the same day.

In early June, at the invitation of the local and Federal law enforcement authorities the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China sent a team of investigators to Iowa City to work in conjunction with the Iowa City Police Department, the Johnson County Medical Examiners Office, the Ames Police Department, the Story County Attorney’s Office, and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office.  Evidence and information pertinent to the investigation were submitted to the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China.  On June 19th, 2015, the People’s Prosecutor of Wenzhou, China arrested Li Xiangnan for the crime of intentional homicide. 

According to the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China, Li reported that on September 7th, 2014 Li strangled Shao and fled the United States to China.    The Criminal Investigation Bureau of China further reported that according to Chinese law based on Criminal Law of the PRC, “the 7th item sets the rule that the Chinese apply the law to its citizens even if he or she commits a crime abroad.  The 232nd  item of the Criminal Law of the PRC reads the intentional killer will be punished up to the death sentence, life imprisonment or imprisonment over ten years.  The Criminal Law of the PRC further reads that if circumstances are relatively minor, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment spanning from three to ten years.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau of China released a statement indicating that that in recent years, thanks to the increasingly strengthened cooperation between the Chinese police and the international police, several case of violent nature have been brought to justice.  Further, the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China stated that there will be continued cooperation with Law Enforcement Officials in not only the United States, but other foreign countries of their citizens committing crimes abroad.

The Iowa City Police Department was assisted in the  local investigation  by the following agencies the Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Johnson County Attorney’s Office , the University of Iowa Police Department , the Ames Police Department , Iowa State University, the Iowa State University Police Department , the US Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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