CHICAGO — A man has been charged with kidnapping a visiting University of Illinois scholar from China who authorities believe to be dead after she disappeared three weeks ago. A federal criminal complaint alleges the suspect’s phone was used to visit an online forum in April called “Abduction 101.”

Yingying Zhang, the 26-year-old daughter of a working-class factory driver from China, disappeared June 9, just weeks after arriving at the Urbana-Champaign campus in central Illinois where she was doing research in agricultural sciences and was expected to begin work on her doctorate in the fall. Friends and family described her as extremely bright, hardworking, caring and devoted to her parents.

Some 5,600 Chinese students are enrolled at the university – more than at any other college in the nation – and Zhang’s disappearance fed anxieties of families of Chinese students studying in the U.S.

Federal authorities say Brendt Christensen, of Champaign, Illinois, was charged Friday.