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US Looking for Chinese National Abducted 5 Weeks Ago

A 2018 photo provided by the FBI shows Ruochen "Tony" Liao, kidnapped in San Gabriel, Calif. by three men on July 16, 2018.

U.S. authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a 28-year-old Chinese national who has been missing for five weeks, a victim of an abduction in southern California, possibly by three men who knew him.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are looking for Tony Liao Ruochen, who has been missing since July 16, last seen emerging from a business meeting in the city of San Gabriel, east of Los Angeles. Kidnappers initially demanded $2 million in ransom money but have not been heard from since. The ransom was not paid.

Authorities released a sketch Monday of a man identified only as "David," whom they suspect as being one of the abductors, and he had been at the meeting with Liao. But authorities had no description of two other men involved in the kidnapping. All are believed to be Chinese nationals.

Family attorney Matthew Lombard told VOA Liao sold used luxury cars on a consignment basis, He "expected to conduct some business and he never came back."

"If they can find this individual named David, they will find Tony," Lombard said.

The attorney said Liao had lived in California for four or five years after attending school in the midwestern state of Nebraska. He said Liao's family lives in China and has offered a $150,000 reward for his safe return, in addition to the $25,000 offered by the FBI for information in the case.

"They're terrified, they're distraught," Lombard said of Liao's family. "Tony really has no family here in the U.S. The family is scared, as well as devastated. He's their only son."

Lombard said that after a news conference about the case, "there have been tips coming in from the public, but we're certainly seeking more."

Law enforcement officials said they believe Liao may have been the victim of a business deal gone bad.

"He loves cars," Lombard said. "That's really his main passion. He loved being around them. He loved selling cars. He loved helping people obtain the car of their dreams."

Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report .

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