Police have confirmed that Haruka Weiser is the woman who was found dead in a creek on the University of Texas-Austin’s campus. Haruka’s body was discovered on early Tuesday morning by University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) which prompted a murder investigation.
Haruka Weiser was last seen on April 3rd and an official Missing Persons Report was filed on April 5th.
Since her body was discovered, police have been treating the surrounding area as a possible crime scene. But as of Wednesday morning they upgraded the case to a homicide investigation. UT-Austin President Greg Fenves told the students in a news conference that “This is a difficult and tragic day for our campus community. Our home has been violated.”
Update–4/7/2016: The Austin Police Department has released this video footage of the homicide suspect.
Update — 4/8/2016: Meechaiel Khalil Criner, a 17-year-old homeless man, is the prime suspect in the UT-Austin murder case. He is being charged today.
Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Troy Gay also said that Weiser was assaulted prior to her death. In that same briefing, a statement from Weiser’s family was read:
Haruka Weiser, our beloved daughter, sister and friend was taken from us too soon…
We are grateful for all the support, kindness prayers that have been offered to us. She never sought the spotlight in her daily life. Perhaps the last thing she would want is to be the poster child for any cause.
And yet as we struggle to understand why she was killed, if her death can somehow make it safer for another young woman to walk home, if it would prevent another assault or murder, then at least we could find meaning in a senseless tragic death…
The ultimate goal here is we want to see justice.
This is the first on-campus homicide investigation since 1966, when Charles Whitman, a former Marine and engineering student at the school, killed 16 people.