The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 29, 2013

Bond set for man charged in U of I student's death

URBANA — A man charged in the stabbing death of a University of Illinois student traveled across the country to confront her because he believed she was cheating on him, prosecutors said Saturday.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports bond was set at $10 million for Yongfei Ci.

The 29-year-old University of Illinois Ph.D. student from China is being held on a preliminary charge of murder for the slaying of Mengchen Huang. The 25-year-old was killed Friday morning in her Urbana apartment.

Assistant Champaign County State’s Attorney Tim Sullivan said Huang, who also was from China, had told a friend she and Ci had a troubled relationship and that she was afraid of him.

It wasn’t immediately clear Saturday if Ci has a defense attorney.

Sullivan said Ci is studying in Rhode Island but returned to Urbana and forced his way in to Huang’s apartment.

One of Huang’s friends was visiting when he arrived. Sullivan said Ci covered both women’s mouths with duct tape and then put the friend in the bathroom. She later escaped uninjured and called police.

The university sent out emergency alerts via text message and email Friday stating there had been an off-campus homicide and asking for help in locating Ci.

Authorities used cellphone technology to find him about an hour later at a different Urbana apartment building. Police said when Ci saw them arrive he called 911 and said he would turn himself in.

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