Authorities say a person of interest was taken into custody after a 19-year-old University of Illinois-Chicago student was found dead in a campus parking garage on Saturday.
At around 11:15 a.m. Saturday, a female student whose family had reported her missing was found unresponsive in a car parked in the Halsted Street Parking Garage, located in the 700 block of West Taylor Street, according to an alert that went out to UIC students and staff.
She was pronounced dead at the scene and later identified as Ruth George, of suburban Berwyn, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
UIC Police Chief Kevin Booker said in a statement Sunday afternoon that investigators believed George "was the victim of foul play" and that a person of interest had been taken into custody. Authorities did not identify the person of interest but said the suspect was not affiliated with the school.
Booker said George's family had reported her missing Saturday after not hearing from her since the night before. Her phone's location was tracked to the parking garage, where police and members of her family found her unresponsive in the back seat of a family-owned vehicle.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has determined that George died as a result of strangulation, and ruled her death a homicide.
Investigators determined that George was alone when she entered the garage at around 1:35 a.m., according to police, and that the person of interest entered the garage shortly after her.
"All of us are devastated by the loss of Ruth George, a member of our Honors College and a talented kinesiology student with dreams and aspirations to become a health professional and help others," UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said in a statement. "Our thoughts, our hearts and our condolences are with her family and friends during this trying period."
School officials said resources were available for students and staff, including the campus counseling center and other services.
Amridis asked that students remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, walking in groups and taking extra precaution.
UIC police, along with federal, state and local law enforcement, continue to investigate the death. Anyone with information was asked to call (312) 996-2830.