Kidnap suspect ordered to be held without bond

URBANA, Ill. (AP) – A federal judge in Illinois has ordered a man accused of kidnapping a visiting University of Illinois scholar from China to be held without bond.

Monday’s brief hearing was the first court appearance for 28-year-old Brendt Christiansen since he was charged on Friday in the kidnapping of Yingying Zhang. Authorities have said they believe the 26-year-old Zhang is dead, although her body has not been found.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Christiansen – clad in an orange jumpsuit – didn’t speak during the nine-minute hearing other than to acknowledge that he understood his rights.

Christiansen is scheduled to attend a bond hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 14.

Christensen is accused of abducting Zhang in Urbana on June 9.

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