The search for 26-year-old Zhang Yingying continues, now more than 10 days after the Chinese student visiting the United States went missing.
Zhang is a visiting scholar at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Fujian-native with degrees from Peking University and Sun Yat-sen University, she arrived in the US last month.
She was last seen on the afternoon of June 9th. Surveillance footage shared by the police shows a black Saturn Astra pulling up in front of her on a quiet road. She talks with the driver for a few minutes before getting in the vehicle at around 2:00 p.m.
She had told her friends that she was going to sign a lease on an apartment with her agent at a local agency. After she failed to return, Zhang’s friends called the police the next day. Police found that the last phone call she made was at 2:30 p.m. on June 9th. Her agent had tried to contact her at 2:38 p.m., but she had not answered.
The FBI has announced that they are now treating Zhang’s disappearance as a kidnapping and are offering $10,000 for information leading to her location.
Meanwhile, the local Champaign County Crimestoppers has pledged an additional $40,000 reward for information about her whereabouts. The money was raised through individual donations by the non-profit.
Zhang’s father, aunt and boyfriend arrived at the university campus over the weekend in search of answers. The university has provided housing for the family while a GoFundMe campaign has been started to pay for any of their expenses. With an initial goal of $30,000, the campaign has already raised $72,000 in two days.
For updates on the case, check here.
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