Yingying Zhang was by all accounts, a good person. A scholar at the University of Illinois visiting from China, she was described by people that knew her as cautious and very dedicated to her studies. Coming from a humble family in China, it was her goal to make a better life for them. It is said that she was the first to attend college from her family.
Nearly a month ago, on July 9, Yingying was seen on surveillance getting into the passenger’s side of a black Saturn Astra. She was said to be late to getting to an apartment to sign a lease and had been in a hurry.
Since that brief moment, a few quick and silent movements captured on those cameras, she hasn’t been seen or heard from.
Then emerged Brendt Christensen. 27 years old, a PhD student at the University. The driver of the car, he was heard admitting on a private recording that he kidnapped the 26-year old woman and held her against her will and she fought for her freedom. He appeared in court early this week and was denied release until his trial.
Investigators have found that Christensen was not only married, but used his phone to visit “Kidnapping 101” forums. They’ve also stated that based on what they know, they don’t believe she’s alive.
Details that are emerging about Christensen are disturbing, and have had be questioning the complete senselessness of this crime. Not only could a promising young woman’s life potentially been taken, but in that same case, Christensen has seemingly thrown away any future for himself as well.
But Yingying nor any trace of her has been found, to the knowledge of the public. FBI have stated that the side of the car Yingying was to have sat on was cleaned a considerable amount more than the rest. As troubling as that detail is, her family as well as the community is still holding out hope that she is alive.
While I don’t believe the FBI would make a statement believing Yingying is deceased without very strong evidence, I too, hope that she is somewhere alive. It would be a happy ending in a a story that has no doubt been torturous for her loved ones.
Is she injured somewhere? Left for dead? In a case that has gained attention from near and far, let’s continue to spread the word about Yingying Zhang. Share her photos, keep your eyes open for a sign.
Where is Yingying?
I’m praying for a good outcome to this. Or, at the very least–an answer.
If you have any information about the location of Yingying Zhang, contact 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov .