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Missing San Francisco college student found dead inside rental car after going on ‘erratic’ road trip

Missing College Student
  • Chris Liang, a 21-year-old University of San Francisco student, was found dead by the California Highway Patrol inside a rented Tesla in a ditch near Los Banos on Saturday and officially identified on Sunday.

  • Chris was reported missing earlier this month after failing to show up in Irvine, where he was supposed to meet a friend.

  • Jerry, Chris’ older brother, considered the planned trip from San Francisco to Irvine insane.”

  • “He’s never driven from NorCal all the way to SoCal,” Jerry said. “He’s never booked a hotel on his own, and the premise – him just renting this Tesla, during the school week… and to do all these crazy things he’s been telling us about was just very concerning.”

  • The 21-year-old’s brother, Jerry Liang, had gone to social media to ask for help in finding the missing student, stating that his family was extremely concerned due to the “erratic nature of this trip” and “mental health issues.”

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Chris Liang, the 21-year-old University of San Francisco student who was reported missing earlier this month, was found dead inside a rented Tesla over the weekend.

Acting on a report of a car crash, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) found Chris’ rented vehicle overturned in a ditch along Panoche Road near California’s city of Los Banos on Saturday. 

A spokesperson for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the man inside the car was the missing University of San Francisco student.

According to the CHP, the vehicle was going westbound on Panoche Road when it careened off the road, fell off a cliff and overturned into the river.


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A post shared by Jerry Liang (@jeriscc)

Chris’ older brother Jerry told KPIX 5 that their family last heard from Chris on Feb. 28 when he revealed he would be going on a trip from San Francisco to Irvine. Chris also sent a picture of himself with the Tesla he rented. 

According to Jerry, his younger brother was supposed to “meet with a friend to do something that really wasn’t within his boundaries to do for this friend.” However, Chris never showed up in Irvine, which his friend informed Jerry about. 

Jerry considered the planned trip “insane” since Chris supposedly never drove after getting his driver’s license last year: “The entire premise of this trip was pretty insane. He got his driver’s license last March. He’s never driven since. He’s never driven from NorCal all the way to SoCal. He’s never booked a hotel on his own, and the premise – him just renting this Tesla, during the school week… and to do all these crazy things he’s been telling us about was just very concerning.”

The Irvine Police Department assisted Jerry with reporting Chris as missing on March 1. Jerry also took to social media to spread the hashtag #findchrisliang. On Saturday, he reportedly drove to Central Valley and led a search party to look for his younger brother.

Before Chris was finally located and identified, Jerry created the website #FindChrisLiang. The Liang family previously offered a $25,000 reward for any information about Chris’ location.

“We greatly appreciate everyone’s help and prayers. We ask that everyone respect our privacy as we go through this difficult time,” the website currently says.

Featured Image via @jeriscc


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