Family of Chinese scholar missing in US heads home without answers

World Today

The family of missing Chinese student, Zhang Yingying, has called on anyone with any information on their daughter to contact the authorities. Yingying’s family has now left the United States and returned to China, but they vowed to come back for the trial of the man accused of kidnapping her.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports from Chicago.
Follow Dan Williams on Twitter @Danielclearcut

Expressing the raw pain and anguish of losing a daughter, Lifeng Ye struggled to hold back tears as she prepared to depart the United States. Her daughter disappeared on Jun. 9 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and has not been seen since.

The family’s loss has been compounded by the uncertainty and lack of closure. For Yingying’s boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, its sadness that they are leaving without knowing the fate of the 26-year-old visiting scholar.

“In the beginning, we hoped we would find her and take her back home,” he said. “This is our biggest hope. But right now, we cannot achieve that. This is very disappointing.” 

Authorities said they have video evidence that Yingying got into the car of former graduate student Brendt Christensen. Even though her body has not been found, he’s been charged with kidnapping and killing her.

The trial was expected to begin in February, but that could be delayed.

 “For more than four months, we can’t understand how the family feels. The torture, for their loss,” Deputy Consul General Peng Yu said. “We hope that justice can be brought about in a very timely manner.”

The family said they will return once there is a development or the trial date is confirmed. Before they left, however, they gave one final message.

“I hope that anyone who has some information can contact the police and they can help us to locate and find her for us,” Xiaolin said.