More Details Released in Murder of U. of I. Student

More Details Released in Murder of U. of I. Student

The family of a University of Illinois graduate student who was abducted and murdered two years ago says it now realizes that the body of Yingying Zhang may never be recovered.  At a news conference in Urbana today (Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019) the family’s attorney, Steve Beckett, released graphic details on how the victim’s body was reportedly disposed.  Beckett said the details came forth when Brendt Christensen’s attorneys approached the prosecution late last year seeking to remove the death penalty…

{‘’According to Christensen’s attorneys, Christensen told them that after killing Yingying Zhang on June 9, 2017 he placed her bodily remains in three separate garbage bags. The next day, June 10, 2017, he placed those garbage bags in the dumpster immediately outside his apartment building in Champaign, Illinois,’’ said Beckett.}

And Beckett said the contents of the dumpster were later taken to Vermilion County….

{‘’The first pickup of the contents of the dumpster at Christensen’s apartment building after Yingying’s murder was on Monday, June 12, 2017.  The contents of the dumpster were taken to a private landfill in the vicinity of Danville, Illinois,’’ said Beckett.}

But a spokesman for Yingying Zhang’s family, Chicago attorney Zhidong Wang,  said the family wonders whether that is the truth…

{‘’Christensen lied so many times, and what he told his attorneys – we do not believe his attorneys had any reason to lie to the prosecution, Steve, but then at the same time, no one can say for sure Christensen told his attorneys the truth.’’}

Ying-Ying’s father said if details of how his daughter was disposed of are true…it ‘’further confirms that he is a heartless and evil person.’’

Beckett says the prosecution has indicated a strong desire to proceed with the search for Zhang’s remains…despite how complicated or impossible it may be.  He says the family welcomed that decision.

The Zhang family released a statement saying it has decided to follow Chinese custom and create a grave site here in America to honor Yingying’s memory.  ‘’We are working with University of Illinois officials to do so.  We hope it will be a solemn place of reflection to all who visit, a place to remember the joy Yingying brought to her family and to everyone she met during her life,’’ the statement concluded.

The family says if Yingying’s remains are ever found, they will return to take her home to China where she belongs.

Christensen did not file an appeal after being sentenced to life in federal prison for the killing.

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>>> (Our thanks to WDWS Radio in Champaign.) <<<