Ruth George, 19, was found unresponsive in her family’s car parked inside the Halsted Street Parking Garage and an autopsy determined she died of strangulation. The suspect, 26-year-old Donald Thurman, was arrested the following day in connection with her death.
Prosecutors told a judge during a hearing on Tuesday that he confessed to the attack, and supposedly admitted he was angry that George ignored his catcalls.
“The defendant was angry that he was being ignored. The defendant came up behind the victim, grabbed her around the neck from behind, and put her into a chokehold,” Cook County Asst. State’s Attorney James Murphy said. “With his arms still wrapped around the victim’s neck the defendant dragged the victim from the ground and he opened her back seat car door.”
Thurman allegedly then sexually assaulted George before killing her.
“It was just really shocking and I feel like I talked about it so many times today about how it’s so unfair that you can’t feel safe on campus,” Shade Idowe, a student at the Chicago campus, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Another student, Vakrand Sharma, added: “A lot of robbery and theft, I’ve seen that happening. But never a murder.”
Thurman, who was on parole at the time of the attack after serving two years of a six-year prison sentence for armed robbery, has no connection to UIC and didn’t know George, police said. He was ordered held without bail during his hearing this week.