Police say Boyfriend of Missing ISU Student is ‘Person Of Interest’

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AMES, Iowa - Authorities say the body found in the trunk of a car in Iowa City is registered to the missing Chinese international Iowa State student, Tong Shao.

Police have not confirmed if the body is that of Shao’s but say her boyfriend is the main person of interest. However, authorities believe he left Iowa and returned to China. They continue to follow leads.

Friday night, Iowa City police found the body in 1997 beige Toyota Camry in an apartment complex parking lot. Ames Police say Friday afternoon they found a receipt with information about the car which lead them to Camry. Authorities did not say where they found the receipt but say the receipt was for overpaid taxes. The car did not have Iowa license plates which forced Authorities to search for the car through a national car registry. Findings showed the car was purchased and registered in Kentucky under Shao’s name.

Friends last heard from Shao on September 8.

“The fact that she's been missing for so long we understood that there probably wasn't going to be a positive outcome at this point,” says Iowa City Police Lieutenant, Mike Brotherton.

An autopsy has been scheduled to identify the body and determine the cause of death.

Campus reaction

Shao’s disappearance had already caused fear and raised numerous questions. Friday’s developments added to that.

Freshman, Margaret Severson, says students all over campus are talking about what could have happened to her.

“That’s horrible and awful. I just wonder how it happened and what could have been done and who could have seen it.”

Chinese international students say they feel sorry for the missing girl’s parents in china, Jason Shi wishes he could do something.

"The Chinese students on campus stand together and we want to use our power to do something for her but we are not police. When I heard about this news, I think it’s too bad because she’s Chinese and I am too.”


  • Proofreader

    “Authorities say the body found in the trunk of a car in Iowa City is registered to the missing Chinese international Iowa State student, Tong Shao.” Read that sentence. The BODY found in the trunk of a car…….is registered to the missing Chinese international……” So, the car wasn’t registered to her, just the body? Who wrote this?

  • smith

    how come it seems like no one was even looking for her, the police seem like they had pretty much given up and were just hoping a body turned up. was there a big effort on campus to organize a search? it seems like she slipped through the cracks and nobody seems to care enough about what happened here.

  • Truth

    Very simple… she’s not a blonde white girl. The same thing happened at Indiana University not more than a few years back when I was a student there and the ACTIVE search went on for more than a year. The reporters cannot glean any info about her b/c all they can access is her Facebook page, which by the way, no Chinese student truly uses (they use local Chinese social media equivalents)


    You have some nerve implying that “whites” whatever that means really are the cause of this. In fact it was an ASIAN who used his INTERNATIONAL STATUS to commit a murder on US soil. Perhaps CHINA should have done something then? You are an ignorant, racist Asian child with privilege brainwashed by your communist Asian govt into thinking you are somehow superior. So go ahead, receive from America then complain like a little B*tch while they educate you.

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