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Detention hearing set for Illinois abduction suspect

Brendt Christensen, 28, of Champaign is the subject of a federal complaint Friday, June 30, 2017, accusing him of kidnapping in the June 9 disappearance of visiting University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang.

CHICAGO (AP) – A detention hearing is set for a 28-year-old charged in the kidnapping of a University of Illinois scholar from China.

A federal judge will decide at Wednesday’s hearing in Urbana whether Brendt Christensen can be released pending trial.

He’s accused of abducting 26-year-old Yingying Zhang on June 9 as she headed to sign an apartment lease off campus in Urbana. Authorities believe she’s dead, though her body hasn’t been found.

Judges consider two main factors in deciding whether suspects qualify for release. One is whether they pose a danger. The other is whether they’re a flight risk.

Christensen lives in Champaign and has a master’s degree in physics from the University of Illinois. He previously lived in Stevens Point, Wisconsin,

If convicted, he would face a maximum life prison sentence.