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Chinese-American communities continue search for missing Chinese student

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    16:36, June 14, 2017

Zhang Yingying (file photo)

Four days after a Chinese exchange student went missing in Urbana, Illinois, Chinese-American communities have yet to give up hope of finding the 26-year-old. Volunteers have already arranged several independent investigations.

Yingying Zhang, a Chinese student visiting the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, was reported missing by her friends on June 9. As of press time, the case has been handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, while specific information about a black Saturn Astra that Zhang entered before going missing has been identified.

“Zhang’s friends notified local police a few hours after she went missing, but the authorities did not pay enough attention, assigning only one police officer to follow the case,” Liu Yunchuan, former director of the local Chinese-American Association chapter, told news portal Haiwainet.cn.

In an effort to find the girl as soon as possible, hundreds of local Chinese Americans, including professors, doctors and lawyers, have combed over the city, hoping to locate the victim’s lost phone or even a piece of clothing. As of press time, the search had almost concluded, without yielding any promising results.

Social media platforms have also been utilized in the search. Several WeChat public accounts have been steadily updated with information about the ongoing case. A petition titled “We are looking for Yingying Zhang. Please help us” was posted on “We the People,” the official White House petition website, garnering over 20,000 signatures after it was started on June 12. Any petition that collects over 100,000 signatures within one month is guaranteed to receive a response from the White House.

“We feel quite down now. We hope Yingying can come back safely, but even if she does, such an incident will leave a scar on the hearts of local Chinese-American communities,” said Liu.

In response to the growing doubts, Patrick Wade, the university’s police spokesperson, told Thepaper.cn on June 13 that local authorities will not give up until they solve the case. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Xiaofei, Bianji)

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