“Murder to Justice—Iowa to China: A Cross-National Collaboration”
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“Tong Shao, a Chinese student, attending Iowa State University, was murdered in September 2014. Her body was found on September 26, 2014 in Iowa City where her boyfriend, Xiangnan Li, lived. The police investigation lead to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office obtaining an arrest warrant for Xiangnan Li, for the murder of Tong Shao. Mr. Li, a Chinese student at the University of Iowa, fled back to China within 2 days of when Tong Shao was last seen alive. Because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with China, there were fears that Mr. Li would not be brought to justice. Not to be deterred, Iowa authorities requested the Chinese prosecute Mr. Li in China for Tong Shao’s death. Iowa City Police Det. David Gonzalez, Det. Andy Rich, Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness, and Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich will discuss the investigation of Ms. Shao’s death, how they coordinated with Chinese authorities to have Mr. Li found and prosecuted in China, and the actual trial in China.
Janet Lyness is serving her third term as Johnson County Attorney, having been first elected in 2006. Prior to that she was an Assistant Johnson County Attorney, working in both the criminal and civil divisions. She clerked from the Seventh Judicial District Court of Iowa following law school. Janet received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
Liz Dupuich has been with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office since November of 2013. She currently supervises the marijuana diversion program, is the lead prosecutor assigned to the Johnson County Drug Treatment Court, and prosecutes a majority of the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Cases in Johnson County. Prior to coming to Johnson County, Liz worked as a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.
Det. Rich has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 13 years and has been assigned to the investigations division for 5 years of his 13 years as a police officer. Det. Rich is currently assigned to Investigation Division working general crimes. Det. Rich has worked in the following capacities: patrol division, sex crimes, financial crimes, crimes against children, violent crimes, death investigations and robberies. Det. Rich is also a board member with the Iowa Sex Crimes Investigators Association.
Det. Gonzalez has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 21 years and has been assigned to investigations division for 16 of his 20 years as a police officer. Det. Gonzalez is currently assigned to the investigations division working general crimes. Det. Gonzalez is currently a board member with the IDIA (Iowa Death Investigators Association).