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Yingying Zhang family responds to new Christensen charges

The family of missing UI scholar Yingying Zhang says they're saddened by the latest break in the case.

Tuesday, Brendt Christensen was charged with her murder in addition to her kidnapping. The 28-year old has been in custody since June.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Christensen intentionally inflicted serious bodily injury which resulted in Zhang's death.

Wednesday, her family issued the following statement:

First, we are sorrowful and grieved after we learned that the FBI and the prosecutors have acquired more and stronger evidence to show that Yingying had left us. Second, we appreciate and are grateful to the work that the police and the prosecutors have done. We hope that the suspect will receive the punishment he deserves, soon. Lastly, and also our greatest wish, is still to find Yingying as soon as possible, so we can bring her home.

If convicted, Christensen faces the death penalty or mandatory life in prison. Christensen is also charged with lying to FBI agents in June. He faces five years for each offense if convicted. He's scheduled to be back in court next week. 

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