Champaign Man Arrested, Charged with Kidnapping Visiting Scholar


According to a press release, FBI agents arrested 28-year-old Brendt Christensen of Champaign in connection to the disappearance of a missing University of Illinois scholar from China.

The Department of Justice said in a press release Christensen was arrested on a criminal complaint that charges Christensen with kidnapping visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang on June 9, 2017. Christensen will remain in law enforcement custody pending his initial federal court appearance in Urbana scheduled on Monday, July 3, at 10:00 a.m.

Message from University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones:

"The entire campus community is saddened by this news and our hearts are with the family of Yingying Zhang tonight. This is a senseless and devastating loss of a promising young woman and a member of our community. 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 difficult days ahead."

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