Group lures food delivery man in kidnapping, then kills him and buries body, US feds say

A food delivery courier working for UberEats on Black Friday in Berlin, Germany. On July 19, a group of men used an ‘Internet-based cellphone application’ to order food delivery from a restaurant in New York City, according to a Nov 29 news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. — Bloomberg

Five men from New York were indicted on charges of kidnapping and murder after they were accused of luring a delivery driver before abducting him and killing him, federal officials said.

On July 19, a group of men used an “Internet-based cellphone application” to order food delivery from a restaurant in New York City, according to a Nov 29 news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Peng Cheng Li, an employee of the restaurant, was sent out to deliver the food to an unspecified location in Flushing, Queens, federal officials said.

When Li arrived, Donxing Zheng, 28, Wangchao He, 29, Jiangnan Lin, 22, Dong Liu, 35, and Sui Zhang, 22 were waiting for him, according to the release.

The five men assaulted Li, then kidnapped him in the hopes of collecting a ransom, according to officials.

Li was beaten before the group put him in his own vehicle, officials said, and Zheng drove Li around to other places, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester County and then north to New Hampshire.

Two days later, Li was reported missing by friends, WMUR reported, and investigators began tracking his vehicle by using his license plate number.

The next day, Li’s body was discovered in a shallow grave in Twin Mountain near the last location his cellphone pinged a tower, naked with a fractured skull, according to the outlet.

“At some point after he was abducted, (Li) died, and Zheng and others known and unknown buried (his) body in a forest in New Hampshire,” federal officials said.

The five men, all from Queens and also known by their nicknames Ah Chao, Little Fatty, Ah Dong and 60, were involved in the distribution of ketamine in New York City, federal officials said.

He, Lin, Liu, Zhang and Zheng were all indicted on charges of kidnapping resulting in death, kidnapping conspiracy, and conspiracy to distribute ketamine, which combined would mean they each face life in prison or death if convicted.

“As demonstrated by this case, the dangerous combination of illicit drugs and brutal violence will never be tolerated in New York City,” New York Police Department Commissioner Edward A. Caban said in the release. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

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