News Local/State

Family Of Yingying Zhang Appeals To President Trump


The family of kidnapped U of I visiting scholar Yingying Zhang says they will not give up their search for her and today (Tuesday) they asked President Donald Trump for help in finding her.

Zhang was kidnapped on June 9 and the FBI presumes her dead. Former U of I graduate student Brendt Christensen has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.

In a news conference, the family read a letter to asking the president to direct all available federal investigators to help find Zhang.

Zhang’s boyfriend Xiaolin Hou told reporters they simply want to find her. “In the beginning we said we would never give up. Maybe you didn’t believe us. But after two months of struggle, we are proud to say we will never give up until we find her," Zhang commented.

Both of Zhang’s parents and brother are living here and they say they won’t go back to China with her.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help with expenses related to their stay.

After the news conference, U of I Chancellor Robert Jones presented a replica of Zhang’s diary to her parents. The current diary is being held for evidence.