Arrest made in connection with slaying of University of Texas student Haruka Weiser
A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the killing of a University of Texas first-year dance student whose body was found on campus earlier this week, a local television station and Austin police said on Friday.
The arrest came the day after the victim was identified as Haruka Weiser, 18, of Oregon, who also was studying theater.
“A suspect is in custody,” the Austin Police Department said in a message on Twitter. Police did not provide details on the suspect, pending a news conference scheduled for Friday morning.
Austin television station KVUE, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, described the suspect as a 17-year-old boy and said firefighters provided an important tip that led helped police make the arrest.
Weiser was reported missing on Monday. Her body was found on Tuesday behind the university’s alumni center, near the main football stadium on the Austin campus, which is used by about 64,000 students, faculty and staff. Police have not released a cause of death.
Police had previously told reporters they had a person of interest in the death – a man seen in surveillance video on a bicycle near where the body was found.
Weiser left the drama building on Sunday night, likely headed for her dormitory, but never made it there, police said.
Her death sent shock waves through the university community, which held a vigil for Weiser on Thursday that was attended by hundreds of students, and it prompted a campus security review.
Gregory Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement on Friday that increased police patrols will continue on campus.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Bill Trott)