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Suspect faces arraignment in kidnapping of China scholar

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An arraignment is scheduled for a 28-year-old man charged in the abduction of a University of Illinois scholar from China.

Brendt Christensen is expected to enter a plea Thursday in U.S. District Court near the school’s campus in Urbana.

A grand jury returned an indictment last week charging Christensen with kidnapping.

Christensen is accused of kidnapping 26-year-old Yingying Zhang on June 9 in Urbana, 140 miles (225 kilometers) southwest of Chicago. He was arrested June 30 and is a recent graduate student in physics at the university.

Investigators say Zhang was abducted after she left campus to sign an apartment lease. They allege Christensen lured her into his car.

Investigators have said they believe Zhang is dead, although they haven’t found her body.