A federal judge south of Chicago has denied bond for an Illinois man suspected of kidnapping Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang.
FBI agents arrested Brendt Christensen last week after they placed him under surveillance. They heard him allegedly boasting to someone that he kidnapped the University of Illinois student.
Hundreds of people stood across the courthouse and in the lobby Monday, demanding justice.
Christensen said nothing at the brief hearing other than responding yes when the judge asked him if he understood his rights.
His attorney reminded reporters that his client is innocent until proven guilty and said “there's a lot the public doesn't know.”
Federal authorities say they are certain Zhang is dead, but have not found her body.
Zhang came to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign as a scholar in environmental science and crop production.
Investigators say she disappeared on June 9 when she was scrambling to make an appointment to sign a lease on an apartment.
Surveillance video shows her failing to flag down a bus when a car pulled up and she got in. No one has seen her since.
Authorities became suspicious of Christensen when they discovered the car in the video looks like his, including minor damage on a front hubcap.
They also say he has given more than one account of what he was doing the day Zhang disappeared.
Investigators also say Christensen visited a fetish website for people who fantasize about kidnapping and bondage.
Zhang's father is in the United States helping search for his daughter.