Illi­noisan de­nies kid­nap­ping stu­dent

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

UR­BANA, Ill. — A 28-year-old man charged in the ab­duc­tion of a Univer­sity of Illi­nois scholar from China has pleaded in­no­cent to the charges.

Brendt Chris­tensen is ac­cused of kid­nap­ping 26-year-old Yingy­ing Zhang on June 9 in Ur­bana, 140 miles south­west of Chicago. He is a re­cent grad­u­ate stu­dent in physics at the univer­sity.

Un­der ques­tion­ing Thurs­day by U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge Eric Long, Chris­tensen re­vealed he is tak­ing Klonopin “as an anti-de­pres­sant.”

Chris­tensen said the med­i­ca­tion did not af­fect his abil­ity to understand the charges against him.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say Zhang was ab­ducted af­ter she left cam­pus to sign an apart­ment lease. They be­lieve Chris­tensen lured her into his car. In­ves­ti­ga­tors have said they be­lieve Zhang is dead, al­though her body hasn’t been found. The judge set a Sept. 12 trial date for Chris­tensen.

AP/The Philadelphia In­quirer/MARGO REED

Madisyn Gravely plays in the foun­tain Thurs­day at Philadelphia’s Dill­worth Park as her fa­ther, Mike, tries to coax her out.

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