Name: Kai Zhuang
Age: 17 years old
Last Seen: December 28, 2023
Location: Riverdale, Utah
Status: Found safe on December 31, 2023
17 year old Kai Zhuang was last seen in Riverdale, Utah on December 28, 2023. Authorities initially believed he had been taken against his will, but now say he may be camping in the Wasatch Front.
Kai Zhuang is a Chinese foreign exchange student studying in Riverdale, Utah. He currently lives with a host family on Huntington Park Drive in Riverdale.
At approximately 3:30 am on December 28, 2023, Kai Zhang was last seen at his host family’s home on Huntington Park Drive in Riverdale, Utah.
Later that day Zhuang’s parents, who live in China, contacted his high school, stating they had received photos of their son making it appear as if he had been kidnapped along with a ransom demand.
When authorities arrived at his host family’s home to investigate the family was unaware he was missing.
Kai was officially reported to the Riverdale Police Department at 8:30 pm.
Officials haven’t said whether they believe the abduction involved someone who knew Kai or his host family.
Initial reports indicated Kai was being held against his will, but authorities have since changed their statements, indicating they do not believe he was forcibly taken.
The Riverdale Police Department is working with the FBI, the US embassy in China, and Chinese officials to find Kai.
In a press release issued by the Riverdale Police Department on December 30, authorities said they believe Kai may be camping along the Wasatch Front.
According to the release, Kai interacted with law enforcement in Provo on December 20 that revealed he had possession of camping gear as well as additional supplies he purchased recently. They were also able to recover surveillance footage of Kai making the purchases.
The camping gear and supplies are currently unaccounted for, leading authorities to believe he may be using it.
Due to the extreme weather conditions there is great concern for his welfare. Police are asking the public to check wooded and camping areas for any sign of Kai and contact police immediately if they spot him.
Kai Zhuang Found Safe
On the evening of December 31, 2023, detectives found Kai in the mountains near Brigham City. He was scared and cold, but very relieved to see police.
After being medically cleared, Zhuang just wanted to speak to his family to ensure they were safe and requested a warm cheeseburger, both of which he was able to do on his way back to Riverdale.
According to authorities, Kai was the victim of cyber bullying and had been being manipulated and controlled. His family ended up sending $80,000 to bank accounts in China due to the threats.
No further details have been released.
Asian male with black hair and brown eyes. Kai stands between 5’9 – 5’10 tall and weighs 170 pounds.
Clothing & Accessories:
It is unknown what he was wearing when he went missing, but he is known to wear a green jacket.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Kai Zhuang please contact the Riverdale Police at (801) 394-6616, or Weber County Dispatch at (801) 395-8221.
Police Believe Missing Foreign Exchange Student in Utah Was Taken By Force – ABC15
Missing Foreign Exchange Student’s Parents Received Pictures & Ransom Demand – KSL
Police Searching For Foreign Exchange Student in Utah Who May Have Been Forcefully Taken – KSL
Riverdale Police Ask Public For Help Locating Endangered Missing Foreign Exchange Student – FOX13
Retired Officer Breaks Down Complexities in Investigating Teen’s Disappearance From Riverdale – 2KUTV
Missing Foreign Exchange Student May Be Camping on Wasatch Front – KSL
Police in Utah Fear Chinese Exchange Student Was Kidnapped – BBC
Parents of Exchange Student Report Their Son is Being Held For Ransom – ABC4
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