Family members of a slain PCC student are mystified by the circumstances surrounding her killing.Liya Jessie Lu, 31, was found dead on Saturday, a month after she had been reported missing. Her body was found in a trash can in Arcadia by police.
Lu’s boyfriend, Isaac J. Campbell, once a student in PCC’s nursing program, is being sought by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives as a suspect in her slaying.
Lu’s cousin Jeremy Zhou, who was notified Tuesday about her body being found, says he never expected the situation to turn out so bad.
“I didn’t know about her boyfriend issue because she never talked about him to me,” said Zhou in Chinese, his native language.
Zhou, who grew up in the same province as Lu – Jiangsu, China – said he was taking care of Lu “because I was her only relative here. Her parents didn’t have to ask me (to do it) because I am supposed to. We were family.”
A classmate of Campbell’s in the nursing program says she is also mystified. “We all knew that there was something going on because the police were looking for him,” said Maggie Pedroza, a current PCC nursing student. “But that doesn’t mean anything.”
Pedroza met Lu through Campbell during family night some time in January or February. “She was young, she had a future. It’s devastating.”
Zhou, who lives in San Gabriel, says he thinks Lu’s body was moved after her killing. “She was moved from one place to another. Just because they found the body (in Arcadia) doesn’t mean it happened there,” he said.
Zhou explained he was only distantly related to Lu, but they had grown up together, so they had been close.
In an interview late Wednesday evening, PCC student William Moo, a close friend of Lu, said he last spoke to her on Aug. 11. “She was in the process of moving out of Campbell’s place,” he said.
Moo did not know this at the time he spoke to Lu, but found out about it from the police and Zhou later.
“She had been seen around Campbell’s apartment since the fall of last year, I was told by a friend,” Moo said. ” I did not even know that she was living with Isaac or that she was in a relationship with him.”
Apparently, soon after Lu was reported missing, police obtained her phone records through which they contacted her friends. Moo said this is how he found out.
“I really don’t have any firm evidence” about what happened, Moo said. “Everything I know I told the police.”
Zhou, Lu’s cousin, was very upset. “I feel really bad; she was a very good person. She was really friendly. If anyone had a problem she would be there for them.”
Lu was reported missing last month by Zhou after she failed to return from a visit to her boyfriend’s apartment, authorities reportedly said.
She was a native of China who moved to the United States eight to nine years ago.
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