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Missing Chinese scholar’s parents arrive in US for trial

May 29, 2019
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FILE- In this Nov. 1, 2017 file photo, Ronggao Zhang, left, and Lifeng Ye, display a photo them with their missing daughter, Yingying Zhang, in Urbana, Ill. Almost two years after their daughter disappeared from the University of Illinois campus, the parents of visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang are back in Champaign-Urbana for the trial of her accused killer. Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with Zheng, whose body hasn't been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday, June 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy File)

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The parents of a visiting University of Illinois scholar who disappeared two years ago have arrived in Illinois from China for the murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing her.

Attorney Steve Beckett told The (Champaign) News-Gazette that Ronggao Zhang and Lifeng Ye arrived in Champaign over the weekend with their son. Their daughter, Yingying Zhang, went missing from the school’s Urbana-Champaign campus in June 2017. Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with killing Zhang, whose body hasn’t been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday.

The family said in a statement that they “want to be present on behalf of Yingying and follow the case closely.” Beckett says the family plans to be in Peoria on Monday for the beginning of the proceedings.

Zhang’s family, who are from China’s Fu Jian province, also traveled to Illinois soon after she went missing.

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This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Zhang’s last name, which was misspelled “Zheng” in one instance.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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