Donald Thurman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Sunday for killing a 19-year-old woman who ignored his catcalls on the streets of Chicago.
The prosecutors in the case released a statement claiming that Thurman was “angry that he was being ignored” by 19-year-old college student, Ruth George. He allegedly followed George into a parking garage on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s campus and put her in a chokehold from behind.
While she was in a chokehold, the prosecution claims that Thurman dragged her by her neck into the back seat of her car. He proceeded to sexually assault the unconscious George. The force with which he choked the victim caused her to be strangled to death.
A palm print and DNA left at the scene along with parking garage surveillance footage linked Thurman to the crime. When he was arrested on Sunday, he allegedly confessed to the murder. He’s been charged with sexual assault in addition to his murder charge, and was denied bail on Tuesday. According to Chicago Police Department records, Thurman was on parole for armed robbery after serving two years of a six-year sentence.
George was a sophomore kinesiology major and honors student. Her family has asked for privacy, but her mother did issue a public statement.
“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,” the statement reads. “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 was a member of the Delta Epsilon Mu Co-Ed, Pre-Health fraternity. She was coming from an event for the fraternity on Friday when the incident occurred. Delta Epsilon Mu has set up a GoFundMe account to help offset the cost of George’s funeral. The nature of George’s death has led to some women reminding people why it’s not safe for them to simply ignore a man’s advances.
This is truly heartbreaking. RIP Ruth.