NEWS

Virginia Tech Victim Was Decapitated, Say Police

By Matthew Harwood

What was originally reported as a stabbing death at Virginia Tech has turned into something much more gruesome: the killer, Haiyang Zhu, decapitated his fellow female graduate student with a kitchen knife.

The victim's name has also been released as well as more information on her ties to Haiyang, the Associated Press reports:

Xin Yang, 22, was killed Wednesday night after arriving at the campus from Beijing on Jan. 8 to begin studying accounting, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Her accused attacker, 25-year-old Haiyang Zhu of Ningbo, China, knew the victim but no motive for the slaying has been determined, Flinchum said. School records showed that Haiyang was listed as one of Xin's emergency contacts.

Haiyang was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail. His attorney, Stephanie Cox, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The crime occurred in the Au Bon Pain restaurant in the Graduate Life Center around 7 p.m. CNN.com reports that witnesses did not see Haiyang and Xin arguing or in an altercation of any kind.

During his arrest, Haiyang, covered in blood, said nothing to police officers.

Both students were natives of China.

This isn't the latest incident where a man decapitated his victim in a public place. Last July, 41-year-old Vincent Weiguang Li stabbed 22-year-old Timothy McLean 40 times while he slept in the seat beside him on a bus transversing the Canadian countryside. They had never met before.

In response, Greyhound Lines Inc. instituted heightened security protocols at Canadian bus terminals.

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