Written by AARON CASTREJON
MOJAVE - The remains of a man kidnapped by two Chinese nationals in San Gabriel were identified recently.
Rouchen “Tony” Liao, 29, was identified by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office - Coroner Section.
Liao’s remains were discovered by a hiker near Mojave in the area of Cache Creek Road and Highway 58 June 12. The manner of death is undetermined.
Liao, a Santa Ana resident, was kidnapped July 16, 2018 in San Gabriel by three men and forced into a dark-colored Toyota Sienna minivan, which was followed by two suspects in a Range Rover SUV.
The kidnapping occurred around 7:30 p.m. at San Gabriel Square, 140 W. Valley Blvd. Liao was possibly coaxed to the area on the premise of conducted a business deal, the FBI said.
One of the three suspects was seen by witnesses to the kidnapping and was referred to as “David,” the FBI said.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced in February 2019 that two Chinese nationals were indicted in Liao’s kidnapping.
Guangyao Yang, 25, and Peicheng Shen, 33, were charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap, attempted extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act and threat by foreign communication, the DOJ said.
After Liao was kidnapped and taken to a Corona home, demands were made to deposit $2 million within three hours to several Chinese accounts. Lio’s father also received photos of his son physically retained in a closet: his arms bound behind him, his legs bound together and his eyes taped shut, investigators said.
No more demands were made and nothing was ever heard from the captors again.
Investigators learned Yang and Shen drove to the Mojave Desert to possibly dispose of Liao’s body two days after the kidnapping.
An internet search connected to Yang revealed efforts to learn how fast a body decomposes in soil. Shen apparently had the closet where Liao was held re-carpeted, investigators said.
Yang and Shen possibly fled to China.
Anyone with information leading to the suspects is urged to call the FBI Los Angeles Field Office at 310-477-6565.