PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) — In light of several media organizations reporting the family of Yingying Zhang was aware of her killer’s offer to plead guilty in exchange for information on the location of her remains, the family issued the following statement:
We have seen the story from media sources regarding the Defendant’s claim that he offered to plead guilty and reveal what he had done with the remains of our daughter.
We were made aware of this defense claim during the progress of the case. We asked that the prosecution obtain truthful information about the whereabouts of remains, that the remains be located and we be allowed to return them to China. We were told that the response to our request by the Defendant was that it was not possible to verify any claim the Defendant would make. There was no promise that Yingying’s remain would be discovered.
We were leery of Defendant’s claims because he had lied so many times in the past.
Nothing has ever stopped the Defendant from pleading guilty. Yet, the family sat through a trial where the horrible details of Yingying’s death have been publicly disclosed.
We have no control over this process. We have shared our views with the prosecutors and respect the decisions that have been made.”
Monday, Brendt Christensen was found guilty in federal court of kidnapping leading to death and two counts of lying to the FBI for the disappearance of Zhang in June 2017.