After Massive Online Search For Lu Lingzi, Chinese Netizens Express Grief

"She died in America, and that's why we know her name." Friends and family use Chinese social media to try and find the third victim of the Boston bombings, and then to mourn her.


(Translations of website screencaps in BuzzFeed's words.)

According to China's IFeng News, Lu Lingzi's parents anxiously waited for their daughter to call home after the Boston Marathon explosions. They learned from TV reports that another Chinese student had been injured, and they asked local media to use Weibo (a Twitter-like microblogging site) to contact Lu's Boston roommate. They also asked a family friend in the US to drive to Boston.

Amidst the chaos of rumors and erroneous reports, Lu's roommate published this on her Weibo. Another BU friend provided a photo.


The BU Chinese Students Association searched every hospital, and urged anyone with news of Lu's whereabouts to contact them or the Chinese Consulate. According to IBTimes China, 369 people immediately reposted search details on RenRen.


Though Lu lived abroad, Chinese net users joined the efforts to find her. Lu became the most searched Weibo tag, as was the term #紧急寻人 (emergency search for person), an oft-used Weibo tag for locating the missing.

When IFeng News confirmed Lu's death, tens of thousands of Chinese citizens left notes of grief on her last Weibo post:


Networks for her former high school and college welled with sympathy.

Many mourned the recent spat of Chinese student deaths.

In March, a USC student died as a passenger in a car crash (the driver is being held on bail). In the past days, 3 other college students have died in tragic accidents and altercations.

While some decried IFeng News' outing of the victim's name, others worried about how the death would've been covered up domestically.

This post was reposted widely on Twitter and Weibo:

Her alma mater's (Beijing IT's) Weibo urged America to find the perpetrator as soon as possible.

The BU Chinese Student's Association issued this statement on Weibo after the search's tragic conclusion:


Her last message on her RenRen microblogging profile, which many have been sharing:

Rest in peace, Lu Lingzi.



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.