The FBI is investigating the disappearance of a Chinese scholar in Urbana, Illinois as a kidnapping.
Yingying Zhang, 26, was just a month into a year-long appointment as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus when she went missing. On June 9, she went to sign an apartment lease but she never returned.
"We have her on video getting into a car and that's the last we see of her. That's obviously very concerning," Campus police spokesman Patrick Wade told the Champaign News-Gazette. University police released surveillance video last week showing Zhang entering a black Saturn Astra vehicle the day of her disappearance.The car appeared to be driven by a white male, according to the FBI. It circled the area prior to making contact with Zhang.
The FBI has labeled the case a kidnapping. They are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to finding Zhang.
Zhang was working in the University of Illinois' Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. She came from Jianyang, China to research photosynthesis and crop productivity. Her father, aunt and boyfriend arrived from China on Saturday to assist with the search, CBS Chicago reported.
She was last seen carrying a black backpack and wearing a charcoal-colored baseball hat, a pink-and-white top,
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the FBI's Toll-Free Tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Springfield Office of the FBI at (217) 522-9675. You may also contact your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.