Police Hunt for Four Suspects After Kidnapped Student Found Unharmed in Cottage Country
Wanzhen Lu was violently abducted from a Range Rover in a parking garage north of Toronto, but was found safe on Tuesday in cottage country.
Photos of Wanzhen Lu and suspect via York Regional Police.
Police are looking for four suspects believed to be linked to the kidnapping of a 22-year-old Chinese international student who was aggressively abducted by masked men in a parking garage in Markham, Ontario last weekend.
Wanzhen Lu was found safe on Tuesday night in the cottage town of Gravenhurst, about 200 kilometres from where he was taken. Just before 9pm, Lu knocked on the door of a residence looking for help and the homeowner called police, according to a statement from the York Regional Police. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, and then brought back to York Region.
Police have said they are withholding his exact location for safety reasons, and have yet to release many details about the incident.
“This investigation is still ongoing. York Regional Police will continue to dedicate significant resources to find the four suspects responsible for the kidnapping, as they are still at large,” the statement continued. “We strongly recommend that the suspects involved in this kidnapping seek legal counsel and turn themselves in.”
Security footage of the kidnapping shows three masked men in the underground garage tasering Lu, and then shoving him into a black Dodge Caravan, driven by a fourth man.
According to police, Lu, who also goes by Peter, was driving a Range Rover at the time with a female friend, and he also drove other luxury cars including a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini. The friend was not harmed.
On Tuesday, prior to Lu’s recovery, York police announced that a 35-year-old Toronto man had been arrested in connection to the kidnapping, but was released without charge.
Registration documents for the Range Rover obtained by CBC Toronto show there was a lien put on the vehicle this week. It remained in the parking garage after Lu’s abduction. The news outlet also reported that Lu is pursuing a business administration degree at Yorkville University, a private postsecondary institution.
Lu’s family members came to Canada from China in the midst of the search. York Regional police constable Andy Pattenden told reporters they were “traumatized” by the events.
In 2017, three Chinese students studying in the Toronto area were targeted as part of a nationwide ransom scam that also went after Chinese students in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Montreal.
"Our investigators have not provided us with any other information linking it to any other cases that they may be aware of,” Pattenden said on Monday. “They are treating this as a unique situation.”
Follow Rachel on Twitter