A Chicago college student is dead after ignoring a man’s catcalls.
Police say Donald Thurman followed Ruth George into a University of Illinois at Chicago parking garage around 1:35 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 23) morning after he called out to her and she ignored him, CBS News reports.
The 19-year-old’s body was found later that day after her family contacted police when they hadn’t heard from her since the night before.
UIC police tracked George’s phone and found her unresponsive in the back seat of her family’s vehicle, CBS News reports.
After reviewing surveillance footage, police said the 26-year-old man could be seen walking behind George, following her down the block and into the parking garage.
He was taken into custody on Sunday (Nov. 24) after detectives tracked his travel patterns and found him near a Blue Line train station. He gave a full confession, CBS News reports.
Police say George passed out after Thurman strangled her. During a hearing on Tuesday (Nov. 26), prosecutors said, he then dragged her into the back seat, sexually assaulted her, and left her for dead, CBS Chicago reports
Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during the hearing that Thurman “was angry that he was being ignored,” CBS Chicago reports.
Murphy described how Thurman “came up behind the victim grabbed her around the neck from behind and put her in a chokehold,” CBS Chicago reports.
He left palm prints behind at the scene, prosecutors said, according to CBS Chicago.
On Monday (Nov. 25), more than 200 UIC students returned to the scene of the crime to light candles and lay flowers on behalf of the honors student, who was studying kinesiology, CBS News reports.
Tyler Nielsen, a coordinator in the honors college described George as “an incredible student and an incredible person,” CBS News reports.
“It’s a tragedy tenfold,” he added, CBS News reports. “She was such a vibrant part of the community.”
CBS News reports, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said, “We offer our sincere condolences to the student’s family and friends and I know that all of us have them in our hearts as they struggle with this devastating loss.”
Thurman, who was on parole for less than a year after serving time for armed robbery, was denied bond during Tuesday’s hearing, CBS Chicago reports.
He was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault for the killing of George, and will appear in court next on December 16, CBS Chicago reports.
“Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,” her family said in a statement, CBS Chicago reports. “She was the beloved baby of our family. We grieve with hope. We hold no hatred towards the perpetrator, but our hope is that no other girl would be harmed in this way and for a mother to never experience this type of heartache.”