Slain Chinese scholar’s dad says her body may never be found

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Yingying Zhang and Brendt Christensen

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URBANA, Ill. (AP) – The father of a slain scholar who begged his daughter’s killer to reveal what he did with her remains so that they could be returned to China for burial says his family now understands that recovering them may be impossible.

Ronggao Zhang spoke at a news conference in Urbana on Wednesday about his fading hopes of finding the remains of his daughter, Yingying Zhang.

He says one of his lawyers, Steve Beckett, explained that Brendt Christensen told his defense team he had divided Yingying’s remains into three garbage bags that he threw into a dumpster before the dumpster’s contents were compacted and buried in a landfill.

Beckett says prosecutors provided the information relayed to them by Christensen’s attorneys after the former University of Illinois doctoral student was convicted in the 2017 slaying and sentenced to life in prison last month.

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