With a confession on hand, the FBI arrested Brendt Christensen and charged him with the murder of Yingying Zhang. In a flurry of anguished messages, she told me to stop wearing high-heels so I could run faster in case of danger. Christensen stated that he brought Zhang back to his apartment, and otherwise held her in his apartment against her will, the affidavit alleges. Amidst a global pandemic caricatured as a product of Asian pathology, my birth country has descended further down the abyss of authoritarianism, my adopted home teeters on the brink of fascism, and relations between the two superpowers are at their lowest point in decades. Facebook reminds me that I have a memory from four years ago. Two months after Yingying went missing, her mother and younger brother arrived in the U.S. As seen about halfway through the film, the humble woman from Nanping weeps in the backseat of a car. Beckett said the defense team for her killer, Brendt Christensen, disclosed the location of Zhang's body as part of a failed immunity agreement. YINGYING ZHANG WAS ABDUCTED AND MURDERED IN 2017. He seemingly boasted about choking, sexually assaulting, and beating Zhang to death with a baseball bat. While the case was put to rest in court, the same cannot be said for Zhangs family who continue to live the loss of their daughter, as stated by them, was their pride and joy. Based on the statements made by Christensen to federal prosecutors in exchange for immunity, he butchered her body in three separate garbage bags and put them in the dumpster outside his apartment. Zhang was a visiting scholar at the university. Since Zhang was last seen in the video entering the car, said the news release issued by authorities, the FBI, the University of Illinois Police Department and the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement have worked around the clock to locate Ms. Zhang and to investigate her disappearance., Please review our privacy policy here: https://heavy.com/privacy-policy/, Copyright 2023 Heavy, Inc. All rights reserved. Without a body, prosecutors based their case on DNA evidence found at Christensen's apartment, and the defendant's own boasting of having killed Zhang in a conversation with his girlfriend. To do this, representative systems must be strategically selected to stimulate students' motivation. The family of murdered Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang has finally learned what happened to the body of their beloved daughter. According to this unsealed motion, he was placed on suicide watch and isolated from the general population for several months. I had known this before, but seeing the words displayed on his page invoked an intense nausea that I doubled over. To date, no search has been undertaken. Her phone was disabled moments later. "Due to the compaction process, Yingying's bodily remains may be very, very small in size," Beckett said. Yingying Zhang is from a small city in South east China called Nanping (a prefectural city in the Fujian province). Three months before he kidnapped, raped, and murdered Yingying, Christensen had sought help at the universitys counseling center, where he admitted to suicidal and homicidal ideations. To view it as an isolated incident, an example of the dangerous few, would be to miss the underlying context and eschew collective responsibility. The affidavit provides a detailed accounting of the last moments Zhang is seen. Yingying Zhang's mother, Lifeng Ye, sobs as her husband addresses the media. She had previously told people she was going to sign an apartment lease and would return shortly after. After the trial ended and public attention moved on, Yingyings disappearance has stayed with me like a needle floating in my veins. Yet historically, the Middle Kingdom was not any more punitive than its Western counterparts, and recent surveys show a two-thirds support rate for the death penalty in China, roughly the same as those from the U.S. over the same time period. 224. She is singing a song about youth, where time is all future, brimming with possibilities. According to the University of Illinois police, Zhang, a graduate student from China, disappeared on June 9, 2017. My friends meant well. Shes gone forever. But the Zhang family understands that the authorities are still considering an attempt to locate and recover Yingyings remains.. However, just three minutes later, the car returned, and Zhang was seen getting into it. The potential site was alleged to be a landfill in Vermilion County, along the Illinois-Indiana border. My biggest concern is that the suspect wont get a severe punishment, Yingyings father says in the film. April 27, 2022. Chemistry and biochemistry instructors must help students to develop the ability to visualize and manipulate 3D biomolecular structures and critically analyze them and their relationship to their functions. 2023 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. She wanted to make a difference in the world.. Photos of Yingying Zhang on a tree on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Ill. Photo: Stephen Haas/The News-Gazette via AP, This is the last entry in Yingyings journal. Christensen, a former physics Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois, raped, choked, and stabbed 26-year-old Zhang before beating her with a baseball bat and decapitating her in June 2017. Body found later in a water tank at the top of the hotel, the coroner stated that she died by drowning. "There is nothing in the world that we want more than to find our daughter and bring . Christensen claimed that he drove up to the Asian female, who relayed she was late to an appointment. A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang's name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in June 2019, two years after her disappearance. Her disappearance was big news in China as well as the United States as the Urbana-Champaign community mobilized to find the promising young environmental engineer who was researching crop production. Yingying ZHANG | Cited by 11,350 | of Tsinghua University, Beijing (TH) | Read 163 publications | Contact Yingying ZHANG In that split second of irrational fear, I took solace in the fact that he is behind bars. Born on December 21, 1990, in Nanping, Fujian Province, Ying Ying Zhang was a Chinese student at the University Of Illinois. For the closing statement at the penalty phase of the trial, Christensens defense presented a 72-page powerpoint on why his life should be spared. Yingyings disappearance quickly made headlines on both sides of the Pacific. Zhang's father said if his daughter's remains are ever found, her family plans to take her body back to China. We were the same age. The U.S. Attorney for Central Illinois, John Milhiser, as he spoke, Zhang's mother, Lifeng Ye, sobbed and the woman standing next to her appeared to be holding her upright. Missing Since 06/09/2017. Less than 10 percent of murders and 20 percent of rapes are committed by strangers. University of Illinois PoliceYingying Zhang. Zhang went missing on June 9, 2017, as she was headed to sign a lease for an off-campus apartment in Urbana. Two ABC news teams tell the tale of two families, tragically connected by the 2017 murder of U of I scholar Yingying Zhang. 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Investigators believe Zhang is dead . By the time they provided that information, it was almost 18 months after she would have been placed in the landfill, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller, ABC reported. 13. Yingying Zhang-Zhang; Sylvia Rohlfer; Jay Rajasekera . The song is Avril Lavignes Complicated. If I look back on the early aughts, when life revolved around school and heartbreak was about boys, Avrils voice will accompany those reels of memory. Highly Influential Citations 1. We share the same feelings. The drive from the airport is the longest distance in the world. Citing Authors. It is evident that any attempt to recover Yingyings remains would be complicated and expensive, would require government oversight and the cooperation of the landfill owners and would have no certainty of success, said Steve Beckett, attorney for the Zhang family, according to ABC. Hes also accused of stabbing and choking her and comparing himself to Ted Bundy. Can we find that guys mother? she asks. During the eight-and-a-half hours of deliberations, they asked the judge to clarify this question on the special verdict form: By whether Christensen is likely to commit more acts of violence, did it mean IN PRISON? I find a clue in the jury notes. By defending features in the U.S. judicial process, I was in fact defending the life I had worked so hard to achieve. Do It Right 2021' . The portion of that private landfill that was being actively used at the time was about half a football field in width, and, by the time Christensens attorneys informed authorities about the remains, they would have purportedly been covered by at least 30 feet of fill from later garbage hauling., It is evident that any attempt to recover Yingyings remains would be complicated and expensive, would require government oversight and the cooperation of the landfill owners and would have no certainty of success, said the statement. Ms Zhang's parents and . Christensen, a 30-year-old former doctoral student at the university, was arrested later that month and charged with her kidnapping and murder. Brendt Christensen is a former Ph.D. student researcher from Champaign who was convicted by a federal jury of kidnapping in the death of Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old University of Illinois visiting scholar from China. Several lamented that while foreigners in China are showered with privileges, Chinese people overseas endure second-class status. Yingying majored in environmental engineering. There, a young woman in a black dress and boots is shredding her voice to the beat. This detail is particularly heartbreaking as members of law enforcement are frequent perpetrators of sexual violence, especially toward women of color, but are rarely held accountable. To lure female victims into his car, Christensen claimed to be a police officer. The remains of Yingying Zhang, a Chinese scholar at University of Illinois who was murdered in 2017, could be in a landfill in central Illinois, according to multiple reports, though her body has still not been found, authorities say. Japan Web Proxy Server*****Jiang Yuzhou was silent for a moment before saying: "You are still young, I can understand that you don't want to be bound by marriage early, but I think we are very suitable, if you want, we can not talk about marriage and talk about a relationship like other couples, you don't have to Just find someone to deal with."In his opinion, Gu Nai suddenly had a boyfriend . Photo: Stephen Haas/The News-Gazette via AP. She gets off the bus. When we turn away from the face of the condemned, were in fact refusing to look at ourselves, to confront our culpability in systems of oppression, to recognize the glimmer of humanity in the darkest corner. Follow Author. Its clear from an affidavit in the case that authorities thought they had their man, but they needed more evidence to seek an arrest, especially because they did not know where Zhangs body was. After her education, she planned on marrying her fianc and eventually returning to China to become a teacher. Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of listeriosis, a bacterial infection that can cause severe illness, including septicaemia via blood infection, meningitis and encephalitis in the brain, and perinatal infection or abortion via . Death penalty or life in prison: What if neither leads to justice? Christensen was found guilty on June 24, 2019, of kidnapping resulting in death and two counts of lying to investigators. Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon . Drove up to the compaction process, I was in fact defending the life had... S parents and kidnapping resulting in death and two counts of lying to.! 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