URBANA, Ill. – A grand jury has indicted a 28-year-old in the abduction of a University of Illinois scholar from China, confirming a decision by federal agents to arrest and charge Brendt Christensen last month.
The federal grand jury in central Illinois returned the indictment Wednesday. It charges Christensen with kidnapping 26-year-old Yingying Zhang on June 9 off campus in Urbana. Indictments indicate a grand jury agrees there’s enough evidence to justify a charge.
Investigators say Zhang was abducted on her way to sign an apartment lease. They allege that Christensen lured her into his car. After Christensen’s June 30 arrest, investigators said they believe Zhang is dead but hadn’t found her body.
The indictment means a preliminary hearing set for Friday is cancelled. An arraignment date will be set in coming days.