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Tong Shao autopsy released to police

BY NICK MOFFITT | NOVEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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A final autopsy report for former Iowa State University student Tong Shao has been obtained by the Iowa City police and the Johnson County County Attorney’s Office, officials told The Daily Iowan Monday afternoon.

Johnson County Medical Examiner Administrator Mike Hensch said officials obtained the documents on Oct. 31 but declined to release any information found in the report.

“The final autopsy report is confidential by law, and I can’t release information inside,” he said.

Shao, 20, was first reported missing by her friends on Sept. 17. The last contact Shao reportedly made was a text message sent to friends on Sept. 8 that stated she and a friend were going to Minnesota.

The final autopsy report comes now after Shao’s body was discovered on Sept. 26 in the trunk of a Toyota Camry located in a parking lot at Dolphin Lake Point Enclave apartments on Iowa City’s East Side.

The initial autopsy was performed on Sept. 27. Hensch had previously told the DI that the final report would take six to eight weeks to complete.

A final death certificate must still be completed, Hensch said. He said Iowa City police have spoken with Shao’s family to give a death notification.

Police have not released information related to a person of interest in the case, Xiangnan Li, beyond the initial release.

Li, a former UI student who began attending the UI in the fall as a finance major in the Tippie College of Business, reportedly has left the United States, Iowa City police officials have said. Li is originally from Wenzhou, China, according to his Facebook page.

In a previous interview with the DI, Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said officers had been in contact with Chinese officials but declined any further information on the subject.

Wenfang Tang, the UI Stanley Hua Hsia professor of political science and international studies, told the DI on Sept. 30 that extradition may prove to be tough for U.S. officials, but it is still in the realm of possibility.

“I think it is possible China would [extradite], if the U.S. says we’ll work with you if you work with us,” he said.

Another way he said it would be possible to extradite Li is if public opinion is sympathetic to Shao’s family.

“The family must be really eager to see what happened,” he said. “If they gather public sympathy in China for the government to cooperate with the investigation, it’s possible.”

The Iowa City police have also worked with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the University of Iowa police, the County Attorney’s Office, and the FBI.


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