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‘Barbaric behavior’: 5 men kidnapped and killed man, buried his remains in NH forest, officials say

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Five men from New York are facing kidnapping and murder charges after federal investigators say they beat a man to death before burying his body in a forest in New Hampshire over the summer.

Donxing Zheng, Wangchao He, Jiangnan Lin, Dong Liu, and Sui Zhang, all of Queens, are facing charges including kidnapping, kidnapping conspiracy, and conspiring to distribute ketamine resulting in the death of Peng Cheng Li, according to an indictment that was unsealed Wednesday in White Plains federal court in New York.

Zheng, He, Lin, Liu, and Zhang were arrested Wednesday following an investigation conducted by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New York City Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the five suspects lured the victim to a restaurant in Flushing, Queens, in July with the intent to hold him for ransom. According to FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith, the men then assaulted and murdered him in a failed attempt to collect a ransom payment.

In a statement, Smith said, “These five defendants deprived the victim Peng Cheng Li of his freedom and ultimately his life when they allegedly kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered him in a failed attempt to collect a payment. This type of barbaric behavior has no place in our society and will not be tolerated.”

At some point after his death, investigators say the five men drove the victim up to New Hampshire and buried his body in a forest. Officials didn’t disclose the exact location of where Li’s remains were dumped.

NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban called the alleged actions of the five men “despicable.”

Zheng, He, Lin, Liu, and Zhang face sentences of death or life in prison if convicted.

There were no additional details immediately available.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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