Federal Jury Indicts Suspect In Kidnapping Of Missing U Of I Scholar

Jul 12, 2017

The Justice Department says a federal grand jury has indicted Brendt Christensen of Champaign with the kidnapping of visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang from the University of Illinois’s Urbana campus.

Zhang has not been seen since June 9, when a campus surveillance camera spotted her getting into Christensen’s vehicle. Authorities assume she is dead.

Christensen was arrested June 30, and has been held since then in connection with Zhang’s disappearance.

Due to the grand jury’s indictment, a hearing for Christensen set for Friday in Urbana has been canceled.

The next court appearance for Christensen will be his arraignment, which is scheduled for July 20.

If convicted, the penalty for kidnapping is up to life in prison.