Slain Chinese scholar’s dad says her body may never be found

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FILE – This 2016 selfie provided by her family shows Yingying Zhang in a cap and gown for her graduate degree in environmental engineering from Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School in China. Brendt Christensen will serve a sentence of life in prison because a federal jury said Thursday, July 18, 2019, it could not unanimously agree he should receive the death penalty in the 2017 abduction, rape and killing of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang. (Zhang Family Photo via AP, File)

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The father of a slain scholar who begged his daughter’s killer to reveal what he did with her remains so that they could be returned to China for burial says his family now understands that recovering them may be impossible.

WATCH: The Attorney and family of Chinese Scholar, who was kidnapped and killed by another student, holds a press conference

Ronggao Zhang spoke at a news conference in Urbana on Wednesday about his fading hopes of finding the remains of his daughter, Yingying Zhang.

He says one of his lawyers, Steve Beckett, explained that Brendt Christensen told his defense team he had divided Yingying’s remains into three garbage bags that he threw into a dumpster before the dumpster’s contents were compacted and buried in a landfill.

Beckett says prosecutors provided the information relayed to them by Christensen’s attorneys after the former University of Illinois doctoral student was convicted in the 2017 slaying and sentenced to life in prison last month.

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