Donald Thurman Chicago, IL man an early release parolee charged in the strangulation murder of UIC freshman, Ruth George.
A parolee has been charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault in the strangulation death of a University of Illinois (UIC) at Chicago student whose body was found in a campus parking lot over the weekend, university police said Monday evening.
Donald D. Thurman, 26, who lived near the campus, was scheduled to appear in Cook County court Tuesday in connection with the killing of 19-year-old Ruth George.
The suspect had previously being sentenced to six years in state prison for a 2016 armed robbery, only to be released December, 2018 according to court records.
An arrest report cited by the ChicagoTribune described Thurman snatching an iPhone from a woman’s hands before fleeing in a stolen car. Thurman was scheduled to remain on parole until late 2021, according to prison records. It remained unclear why the man was let out of jail early.
‘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 family reported her missing around 11 a.m. Saturday. UIC police traced her cellphone to the Halsted Street garage on the campus. There they found her unresponsive in the backseat of a car owned by her family. Efforts to revive her failed. George died of strangulation and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
UIC police Chief Kevin Booker said university cameras captured the suspect walking behind George as she entered the garage about 1:35 a.m. Saturday. About 35 minutes later, video footage show the man walking south on Halsted, Booker said.
He said other video footage showed the suspect’s travel patterns, and UIC detectives staked out the CTA Blue Line, believing they might find him there. About 2 a.m. Sunday, UIC detectives saw someone matching the suspect’s description at the Halsted and Harrison station and took him into custody, Booker said.
Thurman confessed about 3:20 p.m. that afternoon, the chief said.
Not immediately clear was whether Thurman knew of George or whether the girl had been a random victim.
George’s murder led to her family expressing heartache with a released statement from the victim’s mother saying, ‘Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice. 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, who was living in Berwyn, was a 2018 graduate of Naperville Central High School who had been studying kinesiology at UIC. George had been in her second year at the time of her murder.