Markham kidnap victim found alive, OPP say

Markham kidnap victim found alive, OPP say

An international student abducted Saturday in Markham has been found alive at a home near the Town of Gravenhurst, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

Sgt. Jason Folz with the OPP told the Star that Lu was located shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday when the owner of the home “noticed him at the end of his laneway” and called police.

Lu identified himself verbally to OPP officers and was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

In news conference late Tuesday night, Const. Andy Pattenden congratulated investigators for their work in the search for Lu, calling it a “proud moment for York Regional Police,” but stressed that the investigation is “far from over.”

Pattenden confirmed that the 35-year-old suspect York Region Police had arrested in connection with the violent weekend kidnapping of the 22-year-old student has now been released and will face no charges.

China’s ministry of foreign affairs have issued multiple warnings to Chinese nationals, including telephone ransom scams from perpetrators demanding money. The scam has hit students living in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Calgary. But the violence of the recent attack, using a “conductive energy weapon” is on another level.

The incident has caused concern in China, where Canada is regarded as a safe haven from crime. Canada, and Toronto in particular, has benefitted economically from an influx of Chinese students. Moody’s Investor Services have estimated that two-thirds of the international student body at the University of Toronto and a third at the University of British Columbia are from China.

“The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto attaches great importance to this case and immediately activated the consular protection emergency mechanism,” said the consulate in a statement. “We will provide all necessary assistance within the scope of our duties.” Police say Lu’s family have been notified and are on their way to Canada.

Here’s how the story developed:

The bespectacled Lu was driving a black Range Rover Saturday when he entered the underground parking garage of his condominium at 15 Water Walk Dr. near Hwy 7 and Birchmount Rd. in Markham.

It was close to 6 p.m. when Lu was forced into a van. He was also accompanied by a female friend who was unharmed.

Lu and his friend had exited their car and may have been walking toward the elevators of the condo.

At that point he was Tasered and forced into the van by three men who were wearing hoods around their faces.

The first suspect is described as wearing a mask, blue pants and a black jacket.

The second is described as 6-foot-1 with dark skin, wearing a black Canada Goose jacket.

The third suspect also has dark skin, 6-foot-2 with a heavier build, wearing dark blue jeans and a black jacket. The fourth suspect was wearing a green and yellow jacket with a hood.

On Monday, the black, wheelchair accessible van was found in an undisclosed location. Police say they currently have a forensic team combing the van for clues. The van was found with the plates removed.

With files from Emerald Bensadoun and Tony Wong.

Rhianna Jackson-Kelso is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @RhiannaJK

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