"Law enforcement agents believe that Ms. Zhang is no longer alive"
The FBI has arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of Chinese grad student Yingying Zhang.
26-year-old Yingying Zhang was last seen on at the University of Illinois on Friday 9 June. The FBI had since turned the investigation into an agency national priority.
CNN now reports that the Chinese graduate student is now feared to be dead.
Brendt Christensen, 27, of Champaign, Illinois, has been charged with kidnapping Yingying Zhang, after he being under surveillance. Christensen was overhead by agents saying that he had kidnapped Zhang.
“Based on this, and other facts uncovered during the investigation of this matter, law enforcement agents believe that Ms. Zhang is no longer alive,” the statement from the US attorney’s office and FBI said.
No further details have been released other than the front passenger door, where Zhang is believed to have sat, was cleaned to a “more diligent extent.”
Tbe FBI believe that Christensen was the man seen on CCTV driving a black Saturn Astra and picking up Zhang on 9 June.
On 15 June, Christensen admitted to picking up Zhang but told the FBI but claims he let her out a few blocks away.
“Our thoughts are with Yingying’s family, loved ones. Please support fellow community members tonight,” police at the University of Illinois said.
Christensen also allegedly used his phone in April to visit online forums with titles including “Abduction 101,” “Perfect abduction fantasy,” and “planning a kidnapping.”
The 27-year-old’s first court appearance will take pace at 10am on Monday in a federal court in Urbana.