What to Know
- Christensen was arrested on June 30, 2017, his birthday, after his girlfriend wore a wire for the FBI.
- The federal death-penalty case is the first in Illinois since the state struck capital punishment from its books.
- Zhang's body was never found.
Testimony in the trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student accused of killing a visiting scholar from China revealed that the defendant bought Drano and garbage bags three days after the slaying.
The detail came Thursday during the second day of the federal murder trial of Brendt Christensen in the June 2017 death of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.
The News-Gazette reports that an FBI agent testified about the massive search for Zhang that extended from local parks to a coal mine 30 miles away but didn't produce any evidence of what happened to Zhang who's never been found and who is presumed dead.
Prosecutors say she was raped, choked, stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat before being decapitated.
Thursday's testimony came a day after defense attorneys , hoping to spare Christensen the death penalty, acknowledged he killed Zhang.