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Chicago campus on edge after teen student found fatally strangled in parking garage

Police have detained a person of interest, they say.

After Ruth George’s family reported to police Saturday morning that the sophomore had not been heard from since the night before, authorities tracked her phone to a parking garage near the school’s library, quad and engineering facilities, UIC Police Chief Kevin Booker said in a statement.

“Our investigation has determined that Ms. George was alone when she entered the Halsted Street Parking Garage on Nov. 23 at approximately 1:35 a.m. A person of interest entered the garage shortly after Ms. George,” Booker’s statement said.

The person of interest has no ties to the university, the chief said.

Police say they believe foul play was involved, but they’ve neither named the person of interest nor announced what, if any, charges she or he will face.

George’s cause of death was strangulation, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

“The traumatic loss of life of one of our community members is very difficult to comprehend and surely invokes a range of emotions for all of us,” university Chancellor Michael Amiridis said. “I hope that this tragic event brings our community together to watch over and care for each other in the days and weeks ahead.”

University police are working with local, state and federal partners in their investigation, Booker said. Anyone with information about the killing should contact authorities.

Students told CNN affiliate WBBM-TV that the incident has left them frightened.

“Now everybody is worrying about their safety and stuff like that,” junior Karan Patel told the station.

“There are students that are still scared about it, of going outside,” senior Parind Petiwale said.

Because final exams begin December 9, a lot of students are staying late studying at the library, and many students park in the deck where George was found because it’s nearby, senior Danielle Perkins told CNN affiliate WLS.

“Could have been any of the students,” she told the station. “Could have been my friends. Could have been me, and that’s the scariest part.”

The school chancellor described George as “a member of our Honors College and a talented kinesiology student with dreams and aspirations to become a health professional and help others.”

George graduated last year from Naperville Central High School in the Chicago suburbs, about 30 miles west of the university.

Located on the city’s Near West Side, the university boasts Chicago’s largest student body with more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.

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University Park Couple Killed When SUV Falls From Indianapolis Garage – CBS Chicago

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A couple from south suburban University Park was killed in a freak accident this week, when their car plunged from a fourth-story parking garage in Indianapolis.

Charles Hunt, 73, was a Vietnam veteran. He and his wife, Iristeen – or Iris, 70 – were active in the local VFW Post 311 in University Park. Those who knew them well were left in mourning.

“Charles was the fun guy,” said VFW hall house manager Willie Goodson, a friend of the Hunts’.

Charles Hunt was also a retired Chicago Transit Authority Employee. He and Iris spent a lot of his time at the VFW hall.

“We were in Vietnam together,” said Larry Woolridge. “He was a well-known character.”

But of course, stories of battle were not the topic of conversation Thursday night. Instead, the focus was on the Hunts and their tragic accident.

WTTV-TV CBS 4 in Indianapolis reported around 9:50 a.m. Wednesday the couple’s brown 2013 Lincoln MKX was headed south in the Market Center Garage in downtown Indianapolis when it hit the left rear corner of a parked car, struck the parking garage wall, and plunged to the ground.

The car landed upside down on its roof, killing the Hunts.

“That really hit me right then – what happened? Why did the car go off the parking lot? What happened? Did the accelerator stop or hang up or what?” Woolridge said.

“Just shock, just shock – the way it happened and how it happened,” Goodson added.

In May, video captured one of the Hunts’ final dances as they celebrated Iris’ 70th birthday in May. It is a moment their other family at the VFW holds onto.

“I lost a buddy,” Woolridge said, “a fishing buddy.”

The Hunts were in Indianapolis visiting a sick relative. As of Thursday night, police had not determined the circumstances surrounding the crash or what led up to it, but were calling it accidental.

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