Homeless Teen to Be Charged in Freshman's Murder
The key: a burning backpack
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 10:26 AM CDT
Updated Apr 8, 2016 11:17 AM CDT
University of Texas students embrace during a gathering for Haruka Weiser.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – Police have arrested a 17-year-old homeless man in the murder of University of Texas student Haruka Weiser, found dead in a creek on campus on Tuesday. Meechaiel Criner, who is not a student at the school, was arrested Thursday and has been booked in Travis County Jail pending a murder charge, per NBC News. Authorities say the break in the case came after firefighters responded to a small fire that turned out to be a burning backpack, reports the American-Statesman.

Police believe the backpack belonged to Weiser and contained some of her belongings. A witness and fire officials later identified the man seen walking a woman's bike around campus in a surveillance video as having appeared at the scene of the fire, police said at a press conference on Friday, per the AP. "We're going to bring justice to that family, and restore the sense of safety that this campus and this community has enjoyed," says Austin's police chief. Police have not commented on a motive.
 

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