University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

'Nobody saw this coming': Arrest in Chinese scholar's disappearance stuns U. of I. community

'Nobody saw this coming': Arrest in Chinese scholar's disappearance stuns U. of I. community

Federal authorities have arrested and charged a 28-year-old man with kidnapping Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois who disappeared three weeks ago and now is presumed dead.

Brendt Christensen, a former Ph.D. candidate who had studied physics at the university, was arrested late Friday, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. A federal complaint also was filed Friday in the Central District of Illinois accusing him of kidnapping Zhang from the Urbana-Champaign campus the afternoon of June 9.

Christensen's former academic advisor, professor Lance Cooper, associate head for graduate programs in the Department of Physics,...

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