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Vigil planned Sunday for missing U of Illinois scholar

Yingying Zhang, Brendt Christensen

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ A candlelight vigil is planned this weekend to honor missing University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang of China.

The university says the Sunday event on the south side of the Illini Union will include remarks from school officials and Zhang’s family. A performer will sing “The Rose” as candles are lit and yellow ribbons will be available for those who attend.

The 26-year-old agricultural sciences scholar disappeared June 9 after being in central Illinois about a month. On June 30, Brendt Christensen of Champaign was charged with kidnapping in her disappearance. He has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators have said they believe Zhang is dead, although her body hasn’t been found. Her family is in the United States and relatives have said they won’t give up on finding her.