FBI locates car related to missing scholar case

FBI locates car related to missing scholar case

The Campus and Champaign-Urbana community has been rocked by the disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar who was picked up in a vehicle on June 9th and has not been heard from since.

The FBI is treating this case as a kidnapping case, but the campus police have maintained this as a missing person's case.

Zhang has been missing since June 9, when she was last seen on a security camera entering a black Saturn on North Goodwin Avenue in Urbana.

The Chinese Deputy Consul General in Chicago, Yu Peng, said after the auto was discovered: "The Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Chicago has been in close contact with [the university], police department and Federal Bureau of Investigation".

She had been researching plant photosynthesis and was planning to seek her PhD in the autumn, according to the university.

Zhang was last seen wearing a pink and white shirt, jeans, charcoal baseball cap, and white tennis shoes.

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The FBI said the male driver circled the area several times before approaching Zhang, CNN reported.

The FBI said it has located the vehicle involved the disappearance of University of IL scholar Yingying Zhang, but the search continues for the young woman from China, who is believed to have been abducted earlier this month. "At this point in the investigation, there is no way to confirm exactly what happened, and we are not ruling anything out".

Zhang, who is from Jianyang, China, was about a month into a yearlong appointment researching photosynthesis and crop productivity at the University of IL. She arrived on campus in April.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who gives information about Zhang, her family along with Champaign County Crime Stoppers is offering a $40,000 reward.

The FBI announced in a press release Tuesday that the vehicle had been found after authorities received "numerous leads", although Zhang's location is still unknown.

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