Police make arrest in JSU cold case murder

JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Federal Marshals have arrested Chen Shi, 35, Chinese national in Minneapolis for the 1996 murder of a Jacksonville State University Student.

Back in October 1996, police at the university originally looked into the disappearance of Zihui "Linda" Liu, also a Chinese exchange student, as a missing person's case. They initially interviewed Shi, but without enough evidence, they could only take his passport, student I.D. and let him go.

Shi had been seen talking to Liu at the Wesley Foundation house on campus—the last time she was seen alive. Liu's body turned up two months later in woods in Glencoe.

Shi has eluded authorities for more than a decade, despite appearing on "America's Most Wanted" in 1997 and being arrested under a false name for a misdemeanor in 2005, according to an article in The Gadsden Times.

Shi was indicted after a witness came forward in 2005 saying he saw him dump something on Highway 431 in Glencoe.

U.S. Marshals were able to discern that Shi had been working for restaurants in the "Chinese Underground," a system wherein restaurant workers move from restaurant to restaurant, live in housing provided by the restaurants and get paid under the table. The illegal system affords workers a great deal of mobility around the country, according to a release from the USMS.

When federal officials located Shi, he was working as a manager at a Fresh Wok restaurant in Minneapolis. Shi was transported to the Hennepin County Jail to await extradition back to Alabama.

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