CHAMPAIGN, ILL. (KMOX) – The aunt of a visiting Chinese scholar missing from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana says the family believes she’ll come back.

Thursday, Ying-Ying Zhang’s father made an emotional appeal for his 26-year-old daughter’s safe return saying, “Give my daughter back.” Zhang’s aunt and boyfriend and father all traveled from China and say they aren’t leaving without her.

U of I Police Chief Jeff Christensen said in a statement that investigators “continue to make progress” and “will not give up” until Zhang is found. He said specifics about the investigation wouldn’t be shared “in order to maintain its integrity and direction.”

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