Monday, 03 August, 2020

Man Charged With Kidnapping Chinese Scholar Authorities Believe is Dead

Man Charged With Kidnapping Chinese Scholar Authorities Believe is Dead Man Charged With Kidnapping Chinese Scholar Authorities Believe is Dead
Christy Curtis | 02 July, 2017, 02:00

When the investigators interviewed Christensen a second time, and pointed out the two cars looked identical, the suspect admitted he had driven around the University of IL campus on June 9 and had given a ride to an Asian female who told him "she was late for an appointment". Zhang is presumed dead, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

He was arrested Friday night at Stonegate Apartments in Champaign.

Brendt Christensen, 28, of Champaign, Illinois, was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Friday and charged with kidnapping, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Zhang, a 26-year-old visiting scholar from China, was reported missing from the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign on June 9. The student was last seen on the 9th of June and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested a #Man in connection with her disappearance. The FBI said in a statement that evidence they have points to Zhang no longer being alive.

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One of those, belonging to Christensen, was first seen in an apartment complex parking lot on June 12 — days after Zhang went missing — and investigators questioned him. Zhang was seen entering the passenger side of the vehicle on June 9 which is her last known sighting. Christensen is the car's registered owner, according to a court affidavit.

Christensen will remain in law enforcement custody pending his initial federal court appearance in Urbana scheduled on Monday.

"We realize that this has been a source of anxiety for our entire campus community", Jeff Christensen, chief of the university's police force, has said. She and the driver speak for a period of time before she gets in the auto, which drives away heading north on Goodwin. The affidavit says the woman remains missing. Zhang's father, Ronggao, gives this message to the person who took Yingying: "Just give my daughter back".

Zhang's father has come to IL from Nanping, China, to aid in the search. "But please, let Yingying go", he said last Sunday during an Associated Press interview, pleading to whoever abducted her. Zhang has been researching crop photosynthesis and was expected to begin work on her Ph.D.in the fall at the University of IL, according to the school.

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