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U.S. police beefing up efforts in searching for missing Chinese scholar

Updated:2017-06-14 11:15:50    China Plus


Zhang Yingying [Photo: police.illinois.edu]

The University of Illinois Police Department is putting out a public appeal for information as it continues to investigate the disappearance of the Chinese scholar, Zhang Yingying.

She's a 26-year-old visiting scholar who has been missing since June 9, according to the official website of the police department. 

Zhang's friends and family reported to campus police that they hadn't heard from Zhang since around 1:30 pm Friday local time.

The surveillance video released by police shows her briefly speaking to the driver of a vehicle which had pulled up beside her around 2pm that same day.

After a brief conversation, Zhang can be seen getting into the passenger side of the vehicle, which then continues on in the same direction.

Zhang was expected to meet a manager of a house rental office to rent an apartment, according to a report in the Beijing News.

Still images released by police show the 26-year old getting off a transit bus while en route to her meeting.

Yingying Zhang boarded an MTD Teal line bus at the south shelter at Orchard Downs at 1:35 p.m. on Friday, June 9. She exited the bus at Springfield and Mathews avenues in Urbana at 1:52 p.m. Friday. At the time, she was wearing a charcoal gray hat with a white logo on the front. She has shoulder length brown hair, glasses, and a white/pink flannel print long sleeve shirt, white undershirt, jeans, white shoes, and a navy backpack. [Photo: police.illinois.edu]

But instead of transferring to another bus which would have delivered her to her appointment, a second screen shot shows Zhang getting into the vehicle.


Surveillance shows Zhang getting into a black car on the east side of Goodwin Avenue.

U.S. police beefing up efforts in searching for missing Chinese scholar

Surveillance shows Zhang getting into a black car on the east side of Goodwin Avenue. 

Local Police in Urbana, as well as the family and friends of Zhang Yingying are appealing for any information about the whereabouts of the 26-year old, reports the Beijing News.

Meanwhile, the Chinese consulate-general in Chicago is working to get Zhang's immediate family to the United States as the search for the young woman continues.

Image of Zhang Yingying

Profile of Zhang Yingying:

Zhang is visiting from China, arriving in the U.S. on April 26, 2017.

She is a visiting researcher with the department of natural resources and environmental sciences at UIUC (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).

Zhang, from Southeast China's Fujian province, received her master's degree in environmental engineering from Peking University in 2016.

She earned her bachelor's degree from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2013. 

She was also a research assistant at the Institute of Botany at the Chinese Academy of Sciences for around a year.

The young lady's family and friends, together with officials with Chinese consulate-general in Chicago and local police, as well as many volunteers, are increasing their search for Zhang Yingying.

They're appealing for any help the public can provide. 

If you have any information regarding these photos, vehicle information or anything else, please call 911 or contact the University of Illinois Police Department at 217-333-1216; Sergeant Bradley 2173331216. (source: The University of Illinois Police Department)

Zhang's Chinese Contacts: 

Ms. Zhao: 18201544013

Ms. Wu: 18001376867

Zhang's U.S. Contacts: 

Mr. Guan: 609-647-1368

Mr. Li: 301-256-6247

Editor:Kong Lihua

Keywords:   Chinese scholar