Brent Christensen in court for Illinois kidnap of Yingying Zhang
China / July 4, 2017

A former PhD student has appeared in court in the US state of Illinois charged with kidnapping a Chinese student, who remains missing. Hundreds of people gathered outside court in the city of Urbana as Brent Christensen, 28, was arraigned in a nine-minute hearing on Monday morning. He was arrested on Friday in connection with last month’s disappearance of Yingying Zhang. Ms Zhang, 26, has not been found, and authorities say she is presumed dead. Surveillance video filmed her climbing into a black Saturn Astra car on 9 June at the University of Illinois campus. Investigators say Mr Christensen was behind the wheel.  Image captionYingying Zhang was late to sign a lease for an apartment when she accepted a lift The video shows Ms Zhang – who had been in the US barely two months and was late to sign a lease for an apartment – speaking to the driver before getting into the car. The Champaign News-Gazette reports that Mr Christensen attended a rally held last Thursday evening in support of Ms Zhang on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana. He was under police surveillance at the time. According to court documents, there were only 18 four-door Saturn…