HomeCampusStudent sexually assaulted, then strangled to death

Student sexually assaulted, then strangled to death

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A judge Tuesday in Chicago denied bail to a 26-year-old man who police say confessed to sexually assaulting and then strangling to death a University of Illinois Chicago student, reports ABC7.

Donald Thurman faces charges of first degree murder and sexual assault.

The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Ruth George, an Indian American who originally came from Hyderabad.

The Chicago Tribune reports her family reported her missing Saturday. Police later found her dead in the backseat of her car in a campus garage.

“Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,” her mother said in a statement. “She was the beloved baby of our family. We grieve with hope. We hold no hatred towards the perpetrator, but our hope is no other girl would be harmed in this way and for a mother to never experience this type of heartache.”

George’s mother asked that her name not be used.

George graduated from Naperville Central High School in 2018 and excelled on the school’s gymnastics team.

“For the girls who were new on the team each season, she was always one to help make everyone feel welcome, and the girls were drawn to her because of that,” teammate Mary Grace Maxwell said to the Chicago Tribune. “It’s incredibly heartbreaking to know someone took this beautiful girl away from us.”

The prosecutor told ABC7 the incident happened after the suspect directed catcalls at George as she walked by.

“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 choke hold,” said Cook County Asst. State’s Attorney James Murphy. “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.”

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