The Latest: Affidavit: Suspect followed slain Texas student

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Posted: Apr 08, 2016 6:25 PM
The Latest: Affidavit: Suspect followed slain Texas student

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the killing of a student at the University of Texas, Austin (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

An arrest affidavit says the suspect in a University of Texas student's slaying followed her with a "shiny rigid object."

Police say homeless 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner (mih-kah-EEL' KRY'-nur) will be charged in the slaying of Haruka Weiser.

Weiser, an 18-year-old dance major, was last seen leaving the campus drama building Sunday night. Her body was discovered near the heart of the campus.

The affidavit says campus surveillance video shows the suspect watching a female believed to be Weiser as she walked to her dorm.

As she passed, the affidavit says, he produced "what appeared to be a shiny rigid object" and followed her.

The pair later dropped from view. The suspect isn't seen on video again for two-plus hours.

Police had said they'd not recovered a crime scene weapon.

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11:40 a.m.

Police say a 17-year-old suspect arrested in the killing of a first-year University of Texas dance student is homeless and is not affiliated with the school.

University police chief David Carter says Meechaiel Criner (mih-kah-EEL' KRY'-nur) is new to Austin.

The body of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser from Oregon was discovered Tuesday in a creek near the heart of the Austin campus. Criner was linked to the slaying through campus surveillance video on Sunday.

Austin firefighters found Criner at the scene of a trash container fire on Monday and, after extinguishing the blaze, they took him to a homeless shelter. They later recognized Criner from the video and informed police, who arrested Criner at the shelter on Monday.

Police found some of Weiser's things, including her backpack, in Criner's possession.

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10:45 a.m.

Austin's police chief says a 17-year-old suspect will be charged with murder in the killing of a University of Texas dance major.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says Meechaiel Criner (mih-kah-EEL' KRY'-nur) is in custody in Travis County Jail and that he will be formally charged Friday afternoon in the slaying of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser.

Acevedo says Criner was apprehended thanks to tips from the community, including the local fire department, who recognized the suspect from campus surveillance video.

He says investigators are certain that the suspect in custody is responsible for Weiser's death. Her body was found in a creek on campus on Tuesday. Weiser, of Portland, Oregon, was last seen alive on Sunday evening.

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9:45 a.m.

Police say they've arrested a suspect in the first on-campus killing at the University of Texas in five decades.

The Austin Police Department said via Twitter on Friday that a suspect is in custody and more details will come during a press briefing later.

The body of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser, a dance major from Portland, Oregon, was discovered Tuesday in a creek near the alumni center and football stadium in the heart of campus.

Police have released surveillance video of a man they say is a suspect walking a bike around 11 p.m. Sunday near to where her body was found.

Campus President Greg Fenves has said the "unthinkable brutality against Haruka is an attack on our entire family."

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8:30 a.m.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he's confident a man who appears on University of Texas surveillance video killed a first-year dance student whose body was found on campus.

Acevedo told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday that the location and timing of the man's appearance on campus, according to the video, indicate he is responsible for the slaying of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser.

Weiser, from Portland, Oregon, was last seen Sunday night leaving the school's drama building. Her body was found in a creek on Tuesday.

The video appears to show a man pushing a red or pink bicycle near the school's football stadium, which is near the creek, around the time that Weiser was last seen.

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This item has been corrected to show that the police chief's last name is Acevedo not Avedevo.

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7:10 a.m.

Austin police are hunting for a suspect spotted on University of Texas surveillance video around the time that a first-year dance student was killed on campus.

The body of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser was found in a creek Tuesday. Police say Weiser was last seen Sunday night leaving UT's drama building.

Authorities haven't revealed details of how she died, but UT President Greg Fenves has described her killing as "horrifying and incomprehensible."

Police say the man appears on surveillance video pushing a red or pink bicycle north of the stadium, which is near the creek, around 11 p.m. Sunday. Assistant Austin Police Chief Troy Gay says it's unclear if he is a student, but that he was in the area for a couple of hours. No weapon has been recovered.