Investigation into VA Tech decapitation

January 23, 2009 12:50:01 PM PST
Investigators are seeking computer and cell phone records and diaries as they try to figure out why a Virginia Tech student allegedly used a kitchen knife to decapitate a female student in a campus coffee shop. A Tech police officer arrived Wednesday night to find Haiyang Zhu, 25, holding 22-year-old Xin Yang's head in his hands, according to an affidavit filed Thursday.

Zhu is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 5. His attorney, Stephanie Cox, has not returned calls seeking comment.

Yang arrived on campus two weeks ago from Beijing and had only recently met Zhu, a doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics from Ningbo, China.

School records listed Zhu as one of her emergency contacts, but the extent of the relationship is not known.

The two were drinking coffee on the Blacksburg campus before the attack. Witnesses told police they hadn't been arguing.

Yang's slaying was the first on campus since April 2007, when a student gunman shot 32 people and then took his own life.

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