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Visiting student arrested for murder

Yongfei Ci allegedly drove from Providence to Illinois and killed his ex-girlfriend in her home

Yongfei Ci, a visitor-in-residence graduate student at the University, was arrested for allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death in her Urbana, Ill., home Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

He is currently being held on a $10 million bond and is expected to face formal charges Monday, reported the News-Gazette, a local newspaper.

Ci — a PhD student in mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — is one of several graduate students visiting from University of Illinois for the fall semester with Brown’s Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, in an email to The Herald.

The victim, Mengchen Huang, was a fellow Urbana-Champaign student, the News-Gazette reported. Huang was Ci’s ex-girlfriend, Huang’s friend Xue Yang testified in a bail hearing at Champaign County Court Saturday morning, the News-Gazette reported.

Ci drove from Providence to Urbana to confront Huang because he suspected she was cheating, Assistant Champaign County State’s Attorney Tim Sullivan said at the hearing, the News-Gazette reported.

After arriving around 11 a.m. Friday, Ci allegedly forced his way into Huang’s apartment and used duct tape to cover Huang’s and Yang’s mouths. Yang testified that Ci shut Yang in a bathroom as he attacked Huang in the living room, the News-Gazette reported.

As Ci stabbed Huang at least three times, Yang was able to escape through a bathroom window and call the police.

The Urbana police collaborated with Urbana-Champaign police and established Ci as a suspect less than an hour after Yang identified him as a visiting Brown student.

Using cellphone technology, the police found Ci at a nearby motel. When he heard sirens blaring outside, Ci called the police and agreed to surrender. He exited the motel room and turned himself over to the police at approximately 1:20 p.m. without incident, the News-Gazette reported.

Sullivan argued for a high bail at the Saturday hearing, saying that because Ci recently traveled to his home country, China, he poses a flight risk, the News-Gazette reported.



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