FBI joins search for missing Chinese scholar in Chicago

Updated 2017-06-15 09:30:37 Global Times

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the search for a missing Chinese visiting scholar in the U.S., who has been reportedly missing since Friday.

Patrick Wade, spokesperson of the University of Illinois Police, told news site thepaper.cn Tuesday that they are cooperating with the FBI in the search for Zhang Yingying, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIUC).

Police say Zhang's last text message indicates she was going to close an apartment lease but never showed up, thepaper.cn reported, adding that she was last seen getting into a black Saturn Astra Friday afternoon.

"Ms. Zhang was seen standing on the east side of Goodwin Avenue as a black Saturn Astra pulled up beside her. She and the driver talk before she entered the vehicle, which traveled north on Goodwin Avenue. The very last clip of the video is a closer view of the vehicle, just before picking up Ms. Zhang," University of Illinois Police said on its Facebook page on Monday.

Deputy Consul General Yu Peng held a phone conference with Robert Jones, UIUC principal, and Jeff Christensen, chief of the school's police station, about the search for Zhang, the Consulate-General of China in Chicago said on its website Wednesday.

Yu said that he hopes the police can devote more to the search for Zhang.

Zhang's contact people in China could not be reached as of press time.

"We continue to work with rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, as well as cellphone companies. We are checking vehicle records and have pursued other leads offered to us by the public," the university police said.

More than 5,000 Chinese students study at UIUC, according to the website of the Consulate-General of China in Chicago, adding that it hopes the university takes measures to ensure the students' safety.

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