The Daily Illini

Missing scholar’s alleged kidnapper has first court appearance

Community+members+walked+to+support+Yingying+Zhang%2C+a+Chinese+visiting+scholar+who+went+missing+on+July+9.+Alleged+kidnapper+Brendt+Christensen+appeared+in+court+today+and+was+not+granted+bond.+
Community members walked to support Yingying Zhang, a Chinese visiting scholar who went missing on July 9. Alleged kidnapper Brendt Christensen appeared in court today and was not granted bond.

Community members walked to support Yingying Zhang, a Chinese visiting scholar who went missing on July 9. Alleged kidnapper Brendt Christensen appeared in court today and was not granted bond.

Community members walked to support Yingying Zhang, a Chinese visiting scholar who went missing on July 9. Alleged kidnapper Brendt Christensen appeared in court today and was not granted bond.

By Samantha Jones Toal, Brand Manager

Brendt Christensen, the 28-year-old former Physics student accused of kidnapping Yingying Zhang, will be held without bond at least until his next court date on July 15.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long ordered the decision in a hearing that lasted nine minutes, as a large crowd gathered outside with signs saying things like “Justice for Yingying.” The court room was completely full.

According to Sharon Paul, spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Christensen could face life in prison if convicted of the crime of kidnapping.

Christensen has been charged by complaint, meaning the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the charge.

On Wednesday at 3 p.m., Christensen will attend a detention hearing to decide if bail will be set and, if so, the amount.

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Wren Wheeling contributed to this report. 

About the Writer
Samantha Jones Toal, Brand manager (external)
I’m a sophomore majoring in news-editorial journalism with a minor in business. Originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, I’ve recently relocated to central Illinois and am growing to love all the corn, soybeans and orange sunsets that the Midwest has to offer. If I’m not writing articles for the Daily Illini, I’m likely feeding my horse carrots...
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