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Hyderabad: A 19-year-old Indian-origin student, whose family hails from Red Hills in Hyderabad, was found sexually assaulted and later strangled to death in her car in the parking garage on the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus, United States, on Saturday.

The alleged killer, Donald Thurman, 26, who was charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault, was arrested on Sunday. In a statement issued on Monday, UIC Chief of Police Kevin Booker said on November 23 at 11 am, Ruth’s family had reported to the UIC police that she had not been heard from since the evening of November 22.

Her phone was tracked to the Halsted Street Parking Garage and the UIC police and family members responded to find Ruth unresponsive in the back seat of a vehicle owned by her family. The police then requested assistance from the FBI Evidence Response Team to assist in the processing of the crime scene and to complete forensics on the vehicle.

The police retrieved video footage from the university cameras of the offender who was seen walking behind Ruth as she walked to the garage, followed by the offender, who is seen again on video footage, more than half an hour later. The police then reviewed the video footage from the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago POD cameras and the internal system to determine travel patterns for the offender. On Sunday, at 2 am, UIC detectives tracked Thurman and took him into custody. He allegedly confessed to the crime soon after.

Meanwhile, relatives of Ruth George here said the girl’s family migrated to the US three decades ago.

“The entire family shifted to US 30 years ago and she was born and brought up in the US only,” her relative D. Rajendra Paul told Telangana Today here on Tuesday. He said they were devastated on hearing the news of her death from family friends.

He refused to talk more about the girl’s family saying that they were in shock even as other relatives were trying to collect more information about the incident.

In a condolence message on social media, the victim’s kin described her as a “loving and wonderful daughter, sister and cousin”. “We all are praying for you,” they said in a post.

Ruth, who lived in Berwyn, was a 2018 graduate of Naperville Central High School and a member of the gymnastics team as well. The crime has taken the Indian community and the general public in Chicago by shock, with messages and posts of condolence, grief, shock and anger flooding social media over the incident.



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