UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — A 26-year-old man was charged Monday for allegedly killing 19-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student Ruth George, UIC Police said.
At 4:45 p.m., Thurman was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault in George’s death, according to a news release from the university.
Thurman, who lives near the campus but has no affiliation with the university, was taken into custody and allegedly confessed to the murder on Sunday afternoon, school officials said.
On Saturday morning, George’s body was found in the backseat of a family car at a campus parking lot near Halsted and Taylor streets after her family reported her missing to campus police.
The 19-year-old, a 2018 graduate of Naperville Central High School from Berwyn, died of strangulation, said Natalia Derevyanny, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
University cameras caught George entering the parking garage at 1:35 a.m. Saturday, followed by Thurman, police said. Thurman was recorded leaving the parking garage at 2:10 a.m. and walking southbound on Halsted Street, according to school officials.
After UIC police reviewed campus footage, CTA footage and Chicago Police cameras, detectives took Thurman into custody about 2 a.m. Sunday near the UIC Blue Line station at Halsted and Harrison streets.
Thurman was on parole after being released from prison December 2018 on an armed robbery conviction, UIC officials said.
In a statement, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said the university community is “grieving” George’s “tragic death.”
George, a kinesiology student, was a member of the University’s Honors College and wanted to become a physical therapist, Amiridis said.
She was “always there to lend a hand to her peers, many of whom would seek her out because of her compassion for others,” he said.
“As a campus community, we have shed many tears for her over the last three days. But our collective pain pales in comparison with the ordeal her family is and will be going through for days, months and years to come. Our thoughts and our hearts are with Ruthie’s family and friends this evening,” Amiridis said.