PhD student accused kidnapping missing Chinese language student


A 28-year-old guy is accused of kidnapping the visiting scholar at the College of Illinois who is today believed to be dead right after she went missing three several weeks ago.

Yingying Zhang, 26, has been last seen getting into the black Saturn Astra on 06 9, just weeks after the lady arrived at the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus from China to research agriculture sciences.

The FBI discovered Brendt Christensen owned a coordinating car, and agents overheard your pet talking about kidnapping Zhang whilst he was under surveillance upon Thursday, according to an affidavit filed in federal court upon Friday.

Authorities also obtained their cell phone and found Christensen had visited threads titled ‘Abduction 101’, ‘perfect abduction fantasy’ plus ‘planning a kidnapping’ on the particular fetish website FetLife.  

Christensen has been a PhD candidate at the particular university, where he studied condensed issue physics, according to his LinkedIn page. It remains unclear regardless of whether he and Zhang had fulfilled before she disappeared.



Brendt Christensen (left) is accused of kidnapping Yingying Zhang (right) a visiting college student at the University of The state of illinois that is now believed to become dead


Yingying Zhang was last noticed getting into a black Saturn Astra on June 9 that will Christensen owned, according to F Special Agent Anthony Manganaro

Christensen acquired previously acknowledged to FBI real estate agents that he gave a distressed Oriental female a ride. But the lady panicked when he made an incorrect turn, so Christensen claimed he or she let her out just the few blocks away.  

But Christensen, who was placed directly under continuous monitoring, was captured on the June 29 audio recording, explaining how he or she took Zhang to his residence and held her against the girl will.    

Based in the comments, together with other facts uncovered throughout the investigation, agents believe Zhang has ceased to be alive.

Asked Friday night in the event that authorities had any leads upon where Zhang’s body might become, Bradley Ware, spokesperson for the particular FBI’s Springfield office, declined opinion.

Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones mentioned in a statement the campus community is saddened by the particular news Zhang is believed deceased.

‘This is a senseless plus devastating loss of a encouraging young woman and a associate of our community, ‘ Jones said. ‘There is nothing all of us can do to ease the particular sadness or grief for the girl family and friends, but we are able to and we will come with each other to support them by any means all of us can in these difficult times ahead. ‘



Christensen was a PhD candidate in the university, where he or she studied condensed matter physics, in accordance to his LinkedIn page

Zhang informed her friends she had long gone to be able to sign an apartment rent on June 9, and texted the building’s property manager at one. 30pm, saying she was heading to be about 10 mins late to the 2pm scheduled appointment.

She hopped on a town bus and got off in one 52pm, one mile aside from house where she has been signing the lease.  

When Zhang tried to flag down an additional bus minutes later, it went past her without stopping, therefore she walked four blocks aside and stood within tree upon Goodwin Avenue, based on surveillance movie released by the FBI.   

Christensen had driven past Zhang just before looping around the block plus pulling over in front associated with her, based on the criminal complaint.

Zhang could then be seen nearing the passenger side of the particular car and speaking with the driving force before voluntarily climbing in in 2. 04pm.

Subsequent texts from your building’s property manager at second . 38pm to Zhang’s phone proceeded to go unanswered and the 26-year-old has been reported missing by professors in the school later that evening.

Authorities issued several pleas in order to the public within the wake associated with Zhang’s disappearance, as well as the FBI provided a $40, 000 reward intended for information leading to an criminal arrest.


According to Manganaro’s affidavit, investigators determined there have been 18 four-doored Saturn Astra registered within Champaign County.

Christensen’s car has been parked outside his apartment complicated when investigators first questioned your pet on June 12. He informed them he couldn’t recall exactly what he was doing the day time Zhang disappeared.   

Investigators later identified Christensen’s car had a sun-roof plus a cracked hubcap on the particular passenger side, matching the automobile Zhang was last seen obtaining into, according the affidavit.

When Christensen was interviewed again, he or she told investigators he acquired a good Asian woman who said the lady was late for an scheduled appointment. But The 28-year-old claimed the lady panicked after he made the wrong turn and he allow her out in the residential region.   

The court document indicates the search of Christensen’s car signifies the area where Zhang has been believed to have been sitting down had been cleaned.

Christensen has been placed under continuous surveillance upon June 16, and on 06 29 he was captured with an audio recording explaining how he or she took Zhang to his residence and held her against the girl will. The affidavit says the girl remains missing.

Some 5, 600 Chinese enrolled at U associated with I, more than at any kind of U. S. college, according in order to government data. You can find more compared to 300, 000 Chinese students within the U. S. in most. Some parents in China pondered if Zhang’s disappearance meant this wasn’t safe to send

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