George’s body was found by her sisters in the backseat of her car after they tracked her phone to the garage. George was reported missing by her family early on November 23 after she did not return home. George’s mother released a statement about her death and requested to remain unnamed.
“Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,” the statement said. "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.
Cook County prosecutors say Thurman catcalled George outside a bus stop and then followed her into a UIC parking garage after she ignored him. He then attacked George with a chokehold until she was unconscious, and sexually assaulted her in the backseat of her car, according to The Chicago Tribune. Thurman was on parole for an armed robbery that he was convicted of in August 2016.
Thurman was arrested after police used parking garage security footage to identify his face. Police staked out the area near the garage and the Chicago public transit’s Blue Line, believing that Thurman might return to the area. He was arrested just a few blocks away from the parking garage on Sunday. Thurman confessed to attacking George and sexually assaulting her, and is now being held without bail in Cook County Jail.
UIC’s chancellor, Michael D. Amiridis, encouraged students to use school resources if they needed extra support, and offered condolences in an official statement.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the student’s family and friends and I know that all of us have them in our hearts as they struggle with this devastating loss,” said Amiridis.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).