CHAMPAIGN, Illinois-- The FBI's search for a kidnapped University of Illinois student continues in both Illinois and Iowa. And now, her parents are in Champaign, speaking out, with an emotional plea to their daughter's kidnapper.
This is the first time student Yingying Zhang's family is talking about their daughter's disappearance on camera. They came to Champaign from China as soon as they found out she was missing.
Zhang's mom was understandably too emotional to speak on camera, so Zhang's aunt shared their joint message to her kidnapper.
"To the person who did this, please be kind to her and let her come back," Liqin Ye stuttered, through tears.
Zhang has been missing for two weeks, but her family says they will never give up looking for their daughter. They describe her as beautiful, smart, and loving. She came to the U of I to study agriculture. Her dad says she has been outstanding in academics her entire life, and he never thought something like this would happen to his daughter.
"She is a very nice, kind girl and she gets along with everybody very well," Ronaggao Zhang says of his daughter. "She has been very outstanding in academics since she was young and she always served as a leader of her class."
"As a family we are obviously deeply worried and concerned and felt the progress is never fast enough," Zhang continued. "But we understand that law enforcement are doing the very best they can and we appreciate that."
Zhang was last seen, in video surveillance, getting into a black Saturn Astra in the heart of the University of Illinois campus on June 9th. The FBI has been working on the case for a week, and while they can't give out details, they assure people they have made progress.
The FBI says they have more agents working on this specific case than they do in 84 other Illinois counties combined.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. Tipsters are always 100% completely anonymous.
All tips submitted to Crime Stoppers are electronically stripped of any personally identifying information and processed by a third-party answering service, not law enforcement.
Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters will never be asked their name and are given a secret code number to use when checking on a possible reward.