Police searching for foreign exchange student in Utah who may have been forcefully taken

Dec 29, 2023, 6:44 AM | Updated: Jan 2, 2024, 3:48 pm

RIVERDALE — Police have issued an endangered missing advisory for Kai Zhuang, 17, who may have been forcefully taken from his home and is being held against his will.

According to Riverdale Police Chief Casey Warren, authorities received a report of Zhuan’s kidnapping at 8:30 p.m. Thursday from the high school he attended.

Warren said Zhuan’s parents in China told the school they received a photo of their son that made it appear he was kidnapped and the kidnappers were asking for a ransom.

Police checked the home where the Zhuang was staying. The host family told police they did not notice him missing and had last seen him the night before and possibly heard him in the morning.

Warren said there is no evidence that Zhuan was forcibly taken from his host family’s home.

Officers said Kai is a foreign exchange high school student studying in Utah. He is 5-foot-10, weighs 170 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes and speaks broken English.

Police said Kai was last seen at approximately 3:30 a.m. Thursday. They did not know what clothing he was wearing but said he has been known to wear a green jacket.

Anyone with information was asked to call dispatch at 801-395-8221.

Utah’s Endangered Missing Advisory

The Endangered Missing Advisory is a system to rapidly disseminate information about a missing and/or endangered person to law enforcement agencies and the media. The Endangered Missing Advisory is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement and local broadcasters for notifying the public about a missing and endangered person. The advisories are initiated solely by Utah law enforcement agencies.

Warren said the reason no Amber Alert was issued for Zhuang is police needed the suspect information to be broadcast along with the victim’s info.

NOTE: KSL TV has removed images of the crime victim in this story.

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Police searching for foreign exchange student in Utah who may have been forcefully taken