CHAMPAIGN, ILL (AP) Family members of a missing University of Illinois scholar from China say they’re “sorrowful and grieved” that there’s more evidence to show she has died.
The statement released from Yingying Zhang’s family comes after the latest indictment against a man accused in the case. Brendt Christensen previously was charged with the 26-year-old’s abduction. On Tuesday a new indictment alleged Christensen intentionally killed Zhang in “an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner.”
The attorney for Zhang’s family provided a statement to the (Champaign) News-Gazette , saying her relatives “hope that the suspect will receive the punishment he deserves.”
If convicted, Christensen faces the death penalty or mandatory life in prison. He is to be arraigned Wednesday on the updated charge.
Zhang disappeared June 9. Even though her body hasn’t been found, authorities believe she is dead.