Man Arrested Over Disappearance Of Graduate Student Yingying Zhang

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Visiting Chinese student Yingying Zhang was last seen on the University of Illinois campus June 9th, and is presumed dead

Just after 2 P.M on Friday, June 9th, a security video taken from the B-4 parking garage on North Goodwin Avenue reveals 26-year-old Yingying Zhang stepping into a black Saturn Astra after conversing with the driver for a lengthy period of time.

Zhang graduated from Beijing’s Peking University in 2016 with a master’s degree in environmental engineering, and had a year-long position at the University of Illinois department of natural resources and environmental sciences.

Zhang’s disappearance prompted a nationwide discussion of the case in China, considering there are over 300,000 Chinese scholars, students, and graduates attending or working at US universities.

The University of Illinois Police released the video in hopes of tracking down Zhang. FBI revealed Brendt Christensen, 27, has been arrested in connection with Zhang’s disappearance.

Christensen had graduated from the university from the department of physics and had been working as a teaching assistant until May.

Mounting evidence that Zhang is likely “no longer alive”

Christensen had been under surveillance when he declared that he had “kidnapped” Zhang after taking her back to his apartment.

Christensen has been charged with kidnapping. A document released from the court stated that the Saturn, Christensen’s car and the vehicle Zhang stepped into on June 9th, had been cleaned, and the passenger’s side door had been cleaned to “a more diligent extent.”

Although Christensen admitted he picked up Zhang, he stated to the FBI that he let her out blocks away from where he had picked her up.

In April, Christensen visited online forums and viewed threads with titles such as “Abduction 101” and “planning a kidnapping”.

The statement from the US attorney’s office read: “Based on this, and other facts uncovered during the investigation of this matter, law enforcement agents believe that Ms. Zhang is no longer alive.”