Meeting planned with students about missing Chinese scholar

  • Meeting planned with students about missing Chinese scholar

Meeting planned with students about missing Chinese scholar

They've labeled the case a kidnapping.

The 26 year old was last seen getting into a black Saturn Astra on Goodwin avenue about 1:30 pm Friday June 9th. By Monday, the Zhang family announced that they are coordinating with Champaign County Crime Stoppers to offer a reward of up to $40,000 for the same merit.

The disappearance of the UI's visiting scholar has become a big story in her native China, with Yingying Zhang's boyfriend reportedly telling one newspaper in that country: "I wish the search process in the USA could be faster".

The reward is funded mostly through fundraising efforts conducted through the crowdfunding website gofundme.com, and through the University of Illinois Community Credit Union.

On Saturday, Zhang's father, aunt and boyfriend arrived at the school from China. Her family said she was always dreamed of becoming a professor and aspired to help others.

Distribution of the money will be based on the tips received through Crime Stoppers, which are all anonymous. University officials say Zhang's visiting scholar appointment runs through April 2018.

The president of Crime Stoppers, John Hecker, has said this is the largest cash reward ever established by the Champaign County Crime Stoppers in its 31-year history.

Federal authorities say it's possible Zhang was kidnapped.

Zhang was working in the University of Illinois' Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. She never went to her lease signing, and friends are not able to get in touch with her.