Meechaiel Khalil Criner has been arrested for the murder of Haruka Weiser, the 18-year-old freshman student at The University of Texas-Austin. Police released CCTV footage of Meechaiel yesterday afternoon, footage that shows a black man with a red or pink bicycle carrying two bags (one of which looks like a purse).
Meechaiel is being described as homeless 17-year-old. It’s being reported that he was arrested on Monday.
The Austin Police Department held a news conference on Friday morning at 10:30 AM CT.
Sources told KVUE that Austin firefighters provided an important tip to police after they responded to a small fire involving a backpack and that they may have recovered some of Weiser’s belongings.
At the news conference in the morning the police confirmed that the firefighters had responded to a fire on Monday morning. The fire department claims that the suspect who started the fire strongly resembled the person in the video, who we now know is Meechaiel.
Meechaiel is being charged with murder. The investigation is still ongoing, but the police are confident they have their man.
Who Is Meechaiel Criner?
Meechaiel Khalil Criner is a 17-year-old homeless man who has been arrested for the murder of UT-Austin student Haruka Weiser.
They believe that Meechaiel only recently arrived in Austin. He was arrested at the East Austin Lifeworks, a center that “offers 16 different programs in counseling, housing, and workforce/education to help Austin youth & families find their path to self-sufficiency.”
Criner has been charged with first-degree felony murder and was booked at Travis County Jail.
Coincidentally, Meechaiel was the subject of a news article that was written about at-risk youth. The article, which you can read below, details his rough upbringing.
This whole story, the murder, everything is so tragic.
Who Alerted The Police?
The Austin Police Department claims that Meechaiel’s arrest was because of the tips of two people, the fire department and an unnamed woman who connected the description of Haruka’s murderer to the young man who started a fire.