March And Concert Keep Focus On Search For Missing Chinese Scholar

June 29, 2017
Marchers head toward the Krannert Center in Urbana Thursday night for a concert for missing Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.

Marchers head toward the Krannert Center in Urbana Thursday night for a concert for missing Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.

David Mercer/WILL

While the search for missing University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang closes its third week, University of Illinois officials say about 350 people marched through campus Thursday night and gathered for a concert by a group of Chinese students.

Missing Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.

The march and concert drew a mix of students and others from the community, and Zhang’s father, aunt and boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou.

“It is your help, your selfless help, your donation, your gift, your gift, your visit, your encouragement, your concern about living that make me strong,” Hou told the crowd at thr Krannert Center before the concert.

Xiaolin Hou, the boyfriend of Yingying Zhang, speaks to people gathered Thursday for a concert for the missing Chinese scholar.Replace this text with your caption

David Mercer/WILL

The concert was by the Jasmine Field Orchestra and included songs Zhang enjoys.

Zhang is 26 and came to the university in April. She was last seen getting into a car on the north side of campus in Urbana on June 9. Authorities say they found the car this week but have been able to reveal little else.

Some international students have expressed frustration with the lack of information and pace of the investigation, but Hou thanked police on Thursday.

Dean Kimberlee Kidwell of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences told the concert crowd that the search for Zhang "is the most important thing going on on this campus."

Chinese students at the march and concert also say they are hearing from concerned families at home.

"I tell them actually Champaign, it’s a really nice town. We didn't expect this to happen," 23-year-old graduate student Fangquin Wan said, adding that she assures her parents that she will be cautious.

Both the FBI and Crime Stoppers are offering rewards for information that help lead them to Zhang. Contact Crime Stoppers at (217) 373-TIPS or online at 373tips.com.

The Jasmine Field Orchestra performs Thursday.

David Mercer/WILL

Story source: WILL