Federal authorities have arrested and charged a 28-year-old man with kidnapping Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of IL who disappeared three weeks ago and now is presumed dead. "She is very caring for her friends and other people she interacts with".
An Illinois man is in custody, accused of kidnapping a student visiting from China.
27-year-old Brendt Christensen, of Champaign, has been charged with kidnapping Yingying Zhang on June 9th. Video shows her getting into the front seat of a black Saturn Astra.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court by the FBI, on June 29, while Christensen was under law enforcement surveillance, agents overheard him explaining that he kidnapped Zhang.
Based on that auto, tips led Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to Brendt Christensen, who they say was talking about kidnapping the woman.
Christensen will remain in custody until his initial federal court appearance Monday in Urbana, the USA attorney's office said in a statement issued Friday night. The FBI authorities believe that Zhang is probably dead; however, they have not confirmed the news yet. "Please support fellow community members tonight". "There is nothing we can do to ease the sadness or grief for her family and friends, but we can and we will come together to support them in any way we can in these hard days ahead".
The forum included sub-threads called "abduction fantasy" and "planning a kidnapping" according to the statement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges that Christensen looked over both forums. Some of its sub threads include "abduction fantasy" and "planning a kidnapping".
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Police have been investigating the disappearance of #Chinese student Yingying Zhang. Zhang, 26, was about a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus when she vanished.
The other main reason Zhang chose the UI, Hou said, was because she received enough money from a grant to afford to live and study here.
But investigators were suspicious about hisstory as they searched Christensen's vehicle and his phone.
In a thorough search of the suspect's vehicle, it was revealed the front passenger door, next to where Zhang would have been sitting, was cleaned to a "more diligent extent", according to a court document. University police released a video of her getting into the vehicle.
She is described by police as an Asian woman, 5 -feet 4-inches tall, 110 lbs., with shoulder length black hair and brown eyes. The investigators conducted an initial search of Christensen's auto, but did not retrieve any evidence from it. The affidavit says the woman remains missing. On Thursday, he took part in a walk with students and university staff to the corner where his daughter was last seen. He said he dropped her off a few blocks away.
"Our thoughts are with Yingying's family, loved ones".