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A federal grand jury indicted Brendt Christensen on one count of kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a University of Illinois student from China, the media reported.
Zhang disappeared on June 9 while on her way to sign an apartment lease.
Law enforcement officials believe she is dead, according to a criminal complaint filed before Christensen, 28, was arrested on June 30, reports CNN.
He is scheduled to be arraigned July 20 in Urbana, Illinois.
Zhang, 26, was last seen getting into Christensen's car at a bus stop on June 9, the complaint says, citing video evidence.
Authorities have said Christensen changed his story about what he was doing that day.
He first said he could not remember where he was between 2 p.m. and 3 p. m. on the day of the kidnapping.
He later told authorities he was probably sleeping or playing video games "at his residence all day", CNN quoted the complaint as saying.
Days later, Christensen admitted to investigators he was "driving around the UI campus when he observed an Asian female with a backpack standing at a corner appearing distressed". He let her out a few blocks away.
Investigators searched Christensen's phone and discovered a visit to the website FetLife -- where the user visited a forum called "Abduction 101", with threads called "Perfect abduction fantasy" and "planning a kidnapping", authorities said.