The suspect in the abduction of a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois marched in a vigil for the woman before his arrest last week, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The new details surrounding YingYing Zhang’s June 9 disappearance arose at a detention hearing for Brendt Christensen in U.S. District Court in Urbana, the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield said.
Last Thursday, the day before Christensen was arrested, hundreds of people gathered on campus and walked to a street where Zhang was last seen. Prosecutors said Christensen was in the vigil group.
Prosecutors haven’t explained who Christensen spoke to about abducting Zhang, including whether someone close to him secretly recorded him. They divulged the details at Wednesday’s hearing to back their contention that Christensen is too dangerous to release.
The U.S. attorney’s office statement said Christensen “made a threat to another person to whom he made incriminating statements.” The statement didn’t elaborate.
It added that Christensen “has made statements about the characteristics of the ideal victim” and that he also told to an unnamed person that Zhang “fought and resisted” as he abducted her. It didn’t go into details.
Zhang was abducted on her way to sign an apartment lease off campus in Urbana. Christensen allegedly lured her into his car after she got off one bus and tried to flag down another bus. Authorities revealed that Christensen allegedly viewed in April an online forum titled “Abduction 101.”
While authorities say facts in the case indicate Zhang isn’t alive, a body hasn’t been found.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.