Reward Increased To Find Missing U Of I Scholar

The reward announced Monday night is separate from the $10,000 offered over the weekend by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which sent four agents to Champaign-Urbana late last week to investigate Zhang's disappearance.

Zhang was about a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign when she disappeared June 9, 2017. Police have surveillance video showing her getting into a black Saturn Astra in Urbana.

The reward comes in addition to the FBI's reward of up to $10,000 for information to help locate her.

Zhang's friends informed the police that she was heading to an apartment complex in Urbana to sign a lease after about one month into a year-long appointment at the UIUC campus. Friends and family have not heard from Zhang since, and authorities are treating her disappearance as a kidnapping. Zhang can then be seen approaching the passenger side of the auto, appearing to speak with someone in the vehicle before voluntarily getting inside at 2.04pm. 'That's obviously very concerning'.

Zhang was last seen carrying a backpack and wearing jeans, a pink and white top, white sneakers and a grey cap.

The South China Morning Post reports Zhang came to IL in May to research with the school's department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.

She is from Jianyang, China and received her bachelor's degree from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2013 and a master's in environmental engineering from Peking University past year.

Zhang's family, her father, aunt and boyfriend, arrived in IL on Saturday as authorities search for the missing woman, according to the News-Gazette.

Zhang can be seen talking to driver of a black Saturn Astra, about five blocks from where she got off a bus in Urbana and entering the vehicle shortly thereafter on Friday afternoon in a security camera footage released by university police on Monday.

  • Leroy Wright