Police have found the van allegedly used in the violent kidnapping of a Chinese national from an underground parking garage in Markham, Ont., investigators said Monday.
The vehicle — a black wheelchair-accessible van — allegedly used to kidnap Wanzhen Lu, 22, was found somewhere in Toronto on Sunday night thanks to tips from the public, said Const. Andy Pattenden of York regional police.
He said police are still extremely worried about Lu’s safety. Investigators have said a stun gun was used several times on the young man before he was forced into the van that took him away.
“We know that this incident involved a significant level of violence in that underground parking lot in Markham,” Pattenden said. “He was shocked and forced into that van that we’ve now recovered. But we don’t know where Mr. Lu is.”
Lu, who also goes by the name “Peter” and is studying at a school in Toronto, entered the parking garage of his condo building in a Range Rover, Pattenden said. He and a female friend who had been in the vehicle with him were walking toward an elevator in the garage at around 6 p.m. on Saturday when they were ambushed.
Pattenden said the friend wasn’t taken, leading officers to believe Lu was targeted.
Police are looking for four suspects — a driver and three others who forced Lu into the vehicle. Security images show three suspects wearing jackets with their hoods pulled tight to their heads along with images of the van.
“We know somebody knows who these suspects are,” Pattenden said. “We’d like you to have a very good look at these images. If you know anything about who these people may be, please contact the York regional police major crimes bureau.”
He noted that police are not sharing some information — such as where in Toronto the van was found and which school Lu attends — to protect the investigation.
He added that members of Lu’s family are on their way to Canada as the hunt for their loved one and his alleged kidnappers continues.
Police have not made contact with the suspects, Pattenden said, and to his knowledge no ransom demands have been made.
“This entire case is odd,” Pattenden told reporters. “Abductions like this, especially with this level of violence used is very rare in this country.”
Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press