TORONTO – Chinese student Wanzhen Lu, who was violently taken from an underground parking garage in Markham, Ont., north of Toronto on Saturday, has been found safe and in good health.
Const. Andy Pattenden with York Regional Police told a news conference late Tuesday night that the 22-year-old Lu showed up at a home in Gravenhurst, Ont., earlier in the evening and asked the homeowner for help.
Pattenden did not explain how Lu got there, but said the Ontario Provincial Police were called to the home about 180 km north of Toronto and that Lu was taken to a hospital for treatment of what he described as minor injuries.
He also said that four suspects wanted in connection with Lu’s abduction remain at large.
“We’re very concerned that they’re still out there, and I can tell you that the investigative efforts are far from over. We’re going to continue with this until those four suspects are found and brought into custody,” he said.
A 35-year-old Toronto man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the case, but Pattenden said he had subsequently been released “unconditionally” without charge.
As for the motive, Pattenden said that too remains under investigation and he credited police, as well as the media and the public, for Lu’s safe return.
“I can tell you it’s because of the relentless pressure from investigators, the relentless pressure from the media and relentless pressure from the public continuing to push these images out, continuing to have the eyes and ears of everybody in the GTA helping in this investigation that has brought us to this point and Mr. Lu found in good health.”
It was certainly the news Lu’s traumatized parents, who recently arrived in Toronto from China, were anxiously awaiting.
“Our investigators have been able to provide this great news to the family whom I’m sure are sincerely relieved at this point in time. They along with all of our investigators were very concerned for the well being of Mr. Lu,” Pattenden said.
Lu’s abduction was captured on surveillance cameras.
Police said he was walking with his friend toward the elevator after parking his car at his condominium around 6 p.m. when a black wheelchair-accessible minivan came up behind him.
Investigators said three men jumped out of the van while the driver remained behind the wheel, grabbed Lu, shocked him multiple times with a stun gun and dragged him into the van before speeding off.
Lu’s friend, a young woman, was not injured in the incident, but was traumatized by what police called the “brazen” and “violent” attack.
Security images released by police showed three male suspects wearing winter jackets with their hoods wrapped tight to their faces.
Anyone with information about the continuing investigation is asked to contact York Regional Police or call 911.