Jury selection is expected to wrap up in the trial of a former graduate student accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China.

Brendt Christensen is charged in the 2017 death of Yingying Zhang. Her body was never found.

Jury selection began June 3 in Peoria, Illinois. Opening statements are expected Wednesday.

This undated photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. The parents of the visiting University of Illinois scholar who disappeared two years ago have arrived in Illinois from China for the murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing her.   Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with  Zheng, whose body hasn't been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday, June 3, 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. The parents of the visiting University of Illinois scholar who disappeared two years ago have arrived in Illinois from China for the murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing her. Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with Zheng, whose body hasn’t been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday, June 3, 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP)

The case is rare instance of the U.S. Justice Department seeking the death penalty in one of the more than 20 states that doesn’t have capital punishment, drawing on U.S. laws that allow executions by federal authorities for exceptional crimes.

The Justice Department cited evidence that Christensen tortured Zhang after taking advantage of the 26-year-old woman’s small size and lack of English-speaking skills to lure her into his car.

File-This Oct. 11, 2018, file photo shows guests mingling after a ceremony to dedicate the memorial garden for Yingying Zhang, Chinese scholar who disappeared from campus in June 2017. A judge at the trial of a former University of Illinois student charged with killing a visiting Chinese scholar says lawyers should be ready to deliver opening statements by the middle of next week. Thursday, June 6, 2019, is the fourth day of jury selection at Brendt Christensen's trial in Peoria. (Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette via AP)
File-This Oct. 11, 2018, file photo shows guests mingling after a ceremony to dedicate the memorial garden for Yingying Zhang, Chinese scholar who disappeared from campus in June 2017. A judge at the trial of a former University of Illinois student charged with killing a visiting Chinese scholar says lawyers should be ready to deliver opening statements by the middle of next week. Thursday, June 6, 2019, is the fourth day of jury selection at Brendt Christensen’s trial in Peoria. (Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette via AP)