Austin, Texas: Police on Friday arrested a homeless 17-year-old boy and will charge him with murder in the death of a University of Texas dance major. The murder has sparked panic at one of the best-known schools of the country.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said the accused Meechaiel Criner was not a university student and had not been living in Austin long. He added that Criner could face additional charges for murdering 18-year-old Oregon native Haruka Weiser.
"We are very certain that the subject we have in custody ... is responsible for the death of this beautiful young woman," Acevedo said at a news conference.
Weiser was last seen on Saturday leaving the campus drama building. Her body was found Tuesday in a creek near the alumni center and the football stadium of the stadium.
The slaying shook about 50,000 students at the campus. University President Greg Fenves called it "horrifying and incomprehensible." "It was unsettling," said 20-year-old Jasmine Chavez, who was on UT's central mall area, to Star Tribune. "I feel better now that they've caught the guy."
A surveillance video released by the police showed a man they said was a suspect walking a women's bicycle. The man was later identified by firefighters as Criner. It is learned that Criner was earlier questioned by police in connection with a trash fire near the UT campus on Monday. Acevedo said that an Austin resident who reported the fire got in touch with police after watching the surveillance video. The police did not arrest Criner for the fire but he was taken to a shelter. He was found by police there Thursday and was taken into custody without incident.