Alleged Zhang Kidnapper Makes Court Appearance Monday

Yingying Zhang

Visiting scholar Yingying Zhang of China came to the U of I Urbana campus in April, and has been missing since Friday.

University of Illinois Police

The man accused of kidnapping Yingying Zhang is scheduled to make his first appearance in federal court Monday morning.

Brendt Christensen, 27, of Champaign was arrested Friday, three weeks after 26-year-old Zhang went missing. Although Zhang has not been found, the FBI says that “facts uncovered during the investigation” lead them to believe that the visiting scholar from China is dead.

A website that hosted an "Abduction 101" forum is linked to Zhang's alleged kidnapping. The website bills itself as the most popular sexual fetish networking site.

The federal complaint says Christensen's phone was used to visit the forum.

Zhang disappeared June 9th, weeks after she arrived at the U of I as a visiting scholar doing agricultural sciences research. Christensen received a master’s degree in physics from the U of I in May. 

UIUC chancellor Robert Jones announced on Saturday that the campus will hold a memorial ceremony for Zhang at a later date at her family’s request.

Story source: WILL