Man in Champaign, Illinois, Arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation for Kidnapping Chinese Student

Fangqin Wan, a graduate student at the University of IL, walks for Yingying Zhang, a Chinese scholar who went missing three weeks ago, Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Urbana, Ill.

Brendt Christensen, 27, was arrested on Friday after being under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA -The FBI believes University of IL visiting scholar Yingying Zhang is dead, and authorities have arrested a Champaign man for the Chinese woman's abduction.

Disappearance of Chinese Scholar in US Raises Safety Concerns
Report: Arrest made in kidnapping of missing Chinese scholar at U of I

Zhang, 26, went missing on June 9 after she got into a black Saturn Astra vehicle about five blocks from where she got off a bus as she was heading to an apartment complex to sign a lease.

In the video, which police released, Zhang was seen standing on the street corner of W. Clark St. and N. Goodwin Ave, before being approached by the vehicle. He will make his first appearance in federal court on Monday.

The agriculture sciences scholar disappeared moments after stepping off a bus on her way to sign an apartment lease.


The FBI is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the location of the 26-year-old woman. "Based on this, and other facts uncovered during the investigation of this matter, law enforcement agents believe that Ms. Zhang is no longer alive".

The authorities have released a statement saying that their hearts go out to Zhang's family.

University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones said that the entire campus community is saddened by the news. "Please support fellow community members tonight", police at the University of IL said. When investigators interviewed Christensen again, he acknowledged driving around the University of IL campus and giving a ride to an Asian woman who said she was late for an appointment.


The FBI begins continuously montioring Christensen. He admits picking up an Asian woman but says he dropped her off in a residential area a few blocks away. Christensen said he took Zhang back to his apartment, the complaint adds.

Zhang's father has come to IL from Nanping, China, to aid in the search. She had been doing research on crop photosynthesis, which included using drones to study fields. This undated photo provided by The University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang.



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