New information given Friday to the family of a University of Illinois student who was kidnapped and murdered in 2017 suggests her body may be in a landfill in the eastern part of the state.
Yingying Zhang, 26, a visiting Chinese scholar, was killed by former grad student Brendt Christensen. Prosecutors say he raped, choked and stabbed Zhang before beating her to death with a bat and decapitating her.
Zhang’s body was never found. Christensen was sentenced to life in prison in June.
Her family was told that new details provided by Christensen’s attorneys led investigators to the “potential site” in Vermilion County near the Indiana border. No other details were given.
Her family has repeatedly asked Christensen to reveal the location of her body so she can be buried in China.
"If you have any humanity left in your soul, please end our torment," Zhang's father, Ronggao Zhang, said after the sentencing. "Please let us bring Yingying home."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.