Yingying Zhang

8 Stories

Father Makes Plea to Daughter's Killer

Ronggao Zhang urges Brendt Christensen to reveal where body is

(Newser) - Yingying Zhang's father was quiet Thursday as he watched a judge sentence Brendt Christensen to life in prison for his daughter's rape and murder. Afterward, quiet he was not. "If you have any humanity left in your soul, please help end our torment," Ronggao Zhang urged...

Ex-Student Who Killed Chinese Scholar Avoids Death Sentence

Brendt Christensen gets life in prison

(Newser) - A former University of Illinois doctoral student is facing life in prison for the rape and murder of a 26-year-old scholar from China whom he abducted from a bus stop near campus in 2017, after a federal jury said Thursday that it failed to agree on sentencing him to death....

Defense Admits Illinois Student Killed Visiting Researcher

Attorney hopes to avoid the death penalty for Brendt Christensen

(Newser) - "Brendt Christensen killed Yingying Zhang," the defense attorney said in his opening statement Wednesday, "and nothing we say or do during this phase of the trial is intended to sidestep or deny" that fact. Zhang was a visiting Chinese researcher at the University of Illinois, the Chicago ...

What Makes This Death Penalty Case in Illinois Unusual

Yingying Zhang disappeared in June

(Newser) - University of Illinois graduate student Yingying Zhang disappeared in June. The Chinese woman's body has not been found, but federal prosecutors believe that Brendt Christensen is responsible for her murder—and they announced Friday that, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' blessing, they will pursue the death penalty in their...

Ex-Student Faces Death Penalty Over Missing Chinese Woman

Prosecutors say Brendt Christensen killed woman in 'especially heinous' manner

(Newser) - A man who liked to surf kidnapping-fetish websites will face the death penalty in the disappearance of a Chinese graduate student. A federal grand jury on Tuesday slapped Brendt Christensen, 28, with one count of kidnapping resulting in the death of Yingying Zhang, 26, whose body has not been found,...

As Suspect Joined Vigil for Missing Student, FBI Listened

He described 'ideal victim,' made threats: prosecutors

(Newser) - When friends gathered last week at a vigil for missing University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang, they had no idea the man suspected of killing her was in their midst. But Brendt Christensen not only attended the June 29 event at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus while under FBI surveillance,...

FBI: Grad Student Taken by Man Who Visited Kidnapping Sites

Authorities believe 26-year-old Yingying Zhang is dead

(Newser) - Authorities believe a Chinese grad student missing in Illinois is dead, abducted by a man who researched kidnappings on a fetish website, CNN reports. Yingying Zhang, 26, was last seen on surveillance video June 9 getting into a black Saturn Astra on the University of Illinois campus. According to the...

FBI Believes Missing Illinois Student Was Kidnapped

$50K reward offered in search for visiting scholar

(Newser) - The Champaign County, Illinois, branch of Crime Stoppers is offering the biggest reward in its history in the search for a visiting student from China who disappeared more than a week ago. Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old who was a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois, was...

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