|Stats: 283 members, 6,354 topics. Date: February 24, 2017, 6:32 am|
A 17-year-old who ran away from foster care was arrested in the slaying of Haruka Weiser, a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin police said today. The suspect, identified as Meechaiel Criner, is being held at a local jail on a first-degree felony murder charge, Austin. Police Chief Art Acevedo said this morning. Police said the motive is not clear. Criner's family does not believe he committed the crime and wishes to travel to Austin to find out what happened, a family member told ABC News.
Weiser, 18, a first-year theater and dance major, was last seen leaving a university drama building Sunday night. Her body was discovered in a campus creek Tuesday. University President Gregory L. Fenves described the deadly attack as "unthinkable brutality. "Authorities Thursday released surveillance video of a man considered to be a person of interest in the case and pleaded with the public to help identify him.
Acevedo said today that it was tips from a woman and members of the local fire department who saw the video that led to the teen's arrest. On Monday, Criner was seen lighting a fire in a trash can, and firefighters responded, Acevedo said today. The University president said earlier that “Haruka was a beloved member of our dance community, liked and admired by her classmates and respected by professors for her intelligence and spirit.” “Her death is a tragic loss for the UT community,” President Fenves said.
Acevedo told ABC News that Weiser's death marks the first homicide at the school since the UT Tower massacre in the summer of 1966, in which a man opened fire from the top of the campus tower, killing 16 and wounding many others.
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