Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Relatives ask for help in search for missing Chinese scholar

Ronggao Zhang center father of missing Yingying Zhang listens as he joins from left Yingying's best friend Yige Yang aunt Liqin Ye and boyfriend Xiaolin Hou far right for an interview at The News Gazette in Champaign Ill. on Thursday June 22 Relatives ask for help in search for missing Chinese scholar
Stacy Diaz | 27 June, 2017, 07:53

The FBI believes that Yingying Zhang, the missing Chinese scholar, was kidnapped from the University of IL.

Zhang disappeared the afternoon of June 9.

Ronggao Zhang arrived in Central Illinois from China on Saturday and spoke to the (Champaign) News Gazette through a translator while YingYing's aunt, Liqin Le, cried quietly by his side.

Holloway says updates are being regularly sent to the office of the FBI's acting director and US field offices. The 26-year-old disappeared from the University of IL on June 9th in what authorities have labeled a kidnapping. Police have dubbed it a kidnapping case but have not dismissed other scenarios. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents say the driver of the SUV appeared to be a white man who circled the area before making contact with Zhang.

Thursday, Ying-Ying Zhang's father made an emotional appeal for his 26-year-old daughter's safe return saying, "Give my daughter back".

Ronggao Zhang, who arrived in central IL from China Saturday, spoke to the newspaper through a translator.

The father, the aunt and Yingying Zhang's boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, are staying in university housing as the search continues.

UIPD is seeking help in their search for Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar. Hou said, "We're hoping to learn about the progress of the case". "Ying, be strong, Dad is waiting for you here". Earlier this week, at a forum on the U of I campus, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said the case is a top priority nationwide. Police have said they suspect the woman was kidnapped.

A $50,000 reward is being offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Crime Stoppers for information that leads to her safe return.