*WARNING: the following contains news reports of sexual assault
26-year-old Donald Thurman is being charged with the murder of 19-year-old Ruth George.
George was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Police believe Thurman catcalled George as she was walking home.
When she ignored him, he followed her into a parking garage, where he sexually assaulted and then murdered her.
After George didn’t return home, her parents called the police, who were able to trace her cellphone to a parking garage. Inside, they discovered her body in the backseat of the family car.
According to authorities, Thurman followed George into a parking garage after she ignored his catcalls, “put her in a chokehold and later sexually assaulted her.” Thurman emerged from the garage about a half-hour after entering, alone.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote about George’s murder on Twitter.
The murder of UIC student, Ruth George, is both alarming and devastating, and my deepest condolences go out to her loved ones.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) November 27, 2019
Ruth George was an honors student hoping for a degree in physical therapy. A GoFundMe was created to help her family pay for funeral expenses and has already raised nearly $40,000 dollars.
Ruth George didn't owe her murderer a thing. She didn't owe him time, or space, or her life. We are in a world that protects rape culture and violence against women + girl's. Enough is enough. Praying for her family + UIC.#MeToo#SayHerName https://t.co/6H8r5DfW5P— Kina Collins (@Kina4Congress) November 26, 2019
"Catcalls aren't harassment. If you're that ungrateful for attention, just ignore it when guys try to talk to you!!1!"— A N N A (@suitablegirl) November 26, 2019
Rest in power, Ruth George. I'm so sorry your final moments were filled with fear + pain. Holding your family in my heart + prayers. Everlasting be your memory. https://t.co/qNMp1g4CR4 pic.twitter.com/tY7QAiN1de
Thurman’s handprint was recovered from the car and police were able to track him down by waiting at a Chicago train station he was known to use.
The killer has a criminal history. He was, at the time of the murder, released from prison on parole after serving two years of a six-year sentence for armed robbery.
I think the scariest thing about what happened to Ruth George is that I, and many other girls, would have reacted the same way. We wouldâ€™ve ignored him and kept walking too. Which just means the same thing wouldâ€™ve happened to us too. Pls be alert and aware of your surroundings.— Sandy Tran (@saandytraan_) November 27, 2019
Thinking of Alexis Crawford and Ruth George, both college students who were sexually assaulted and murdered. They should still be here to spend the holidays with their family, continuing their education, and living freely. They didnâ€™t deserve this. Survivors donâ€™t deserve this.— venkayla (@VenkaylaHaynes) November 28, 2019
Thurman gave a full confession to police.
His attorneys stated in court that he is homeless with a history of mental illness.Â
Ruth George was murdered because a manâ€™s ego was hurt from being ignored. Women have it so bad man, itâ€™s ridiculous. ðŸ˜¢— Jori (@ItsJust_JORI) November 26, 2019
Ruth Georgeâ€™s death feels a little like â€œthat could have been me or my friendâ€ and a lot like â€œhow long until itâ€™s me or my friend?â€— peli like the jackets (@PeliDaWop) November 27, 2019
George’s family told ABC that she was their “beloved baby” and hope no other family would ever have to go through anything like this.
Meanwhile, people on Twitter mourned her passing.
An old classmate of mine was assaulted and killed this past weekend on the UIC campus. She was wonderful and kind and really a ray of sun and it's got me shaken up.— ðŸtoniðŸ (@smtcone) November 27, 2019
If you can, please donate to help her family #RuthGeorge #SayHerNamehttps://t.co/iylHK4WT8z
You have the right to say no— I write...dope booksðŸ˜â¤ (@EbonyDiamonds86) November 27, 2019
You have the right to ignore cat calls
You have the right to keep walking
You have the right to not be murdered or raped for doing all the things above.
RIP #RuthGeorge pic.twitter.com/R7MNT0w3ks
The dangers we face as women even in just in the simple act of walking to our car are immense. My heart goes out to the family of Ruth George. I have no qualms saying her killer belongs in jail! https://t.co/lBb845Kwtx— BlackWomenViews (@blackwomenviews) November 27, 2019
RIP, Ruth George.