image copyrightVKimage captionCatherine Serou was studying law in Nizhny Novgorod

Russian police have arrested a man after the body of a missing American student was found near the city of Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow.

Catherine Serou, 34, went missing after getting into an unidentified car.

Her last communication was a text sent to her mother in Mississippi in which she said: "In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted."

The arrested man had a long record of "especially grave crimes", Russian investigators said.

Ms Serou was a former US Marine who had completed a tour in Afghanistan and moved to Russia in 2019 to study for a master's degree in law at Nizhny Novgorod's Lobachevsky State University.

She lived just outside the city, which is 420km (260 miles) east of Moscow, and texted her mother just after 18:30 local time (15:30 GMT) on Tuesday.

Her mother Beccy Serou told US media that her daughter had been in a hurry to return to a clinic where a payment had not gone through and may have hitched a lift with a passing car instead of waiting for her Uber.

Search teams had been looking for her body in a forested area outside the city where her phone signal was last detected.

The US embassy in Moscow said it had confirmed Ms Serou's death and was following the Russian investigation.

Ms Serou had planned to return to the US to work as an immigration lawyer.

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionNizhny Novgorod is 420km east of Moscow

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