It is being reported on October 3, 2017 that the main suspect in the disappearance of Chinese exchange student, Yingying Zhang, has received new charges. The federal grand jury indicted Brendt Christensen on kidnapping in an “especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner” resulting in her death. He was already charged with kidnapping but now they have added death.
Yingying Zhang has been missing since June 9, 2017 and has still not been found. Although her body has not been located, authorities believe they have enough evidence to make these charges. Christensen was also charged with making false statements to the FBI.
In addition to the offense of kidnapping resulting in death, the superseding indictment charges Christensen with making false statements to the FBI on two occasions.
On June 12, the indictment alleges that Christensen falsely stated to FBI agents that he stayed at his apartment and slept and played video games all day on June 9, 2017, when he knew full well that he drove around the University of Illinois campus on the afternoon of June 9, and picked up Zhang as she was waiting for a bus. The indictment alleges that on June 15, Christensen falsely told an FBI agent that he dropped off an Asian female in a residential area shortly after picking her up in his Saturn Astra on June 9, when he knew full well that he did not drop the female off shortly after picking her up, but instead, took her back to his apartment.
If convicted of making false statements to federal law enforcement agents, each offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.
His trial is scheduled to begin on February 27, 2018.
Read full indictment below: