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Chinese Confucius Institute official at Webster University dies suddenly amid FBI investigation

Webster University's Institute (Webster University/Flickr)

An official of Webster University’s Confucius Institute died after police and the FBI searched his home Tuesday, officials said.

The university learned of Qiang “David” Liu’s death from police Wednesday, spokesman Rick Rockwell said Friday in an email. Liu served as a representative of the Beijing Language and Cultural University at the institute and had been there since January of 2019. Rockwell referred other questions to Webster Groves and St. Louis County police.

Liu was listed as an ex officio member of the institute board. References to his role were gone Friday from the university’s web site.

Beijing university officials did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.

Police and the FBI searched Qiang’s apartment in the 7900 block of Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves Tuesday evening amid a child pornography investigation, St. Louis County police Sgt. Ben Granda said in an email.

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Webster Groves police did not return an email Friday seeking comment.

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