UTPD investigating possible homicide on campus

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

To read our full recap of the day's coverage of this investigation, click here.

Update (5:40 p.m.): UTPD Captain Don Verett said at a press conference that the investigation is ongoing and UTPD would increase foot and bicycle patrols. Verrett advised members of the University community to “practice personal safety” by walking in groups, using SURE Walk and being aware of one’s surroundings at all times. He said the identity of the victim would not be released until the next of kin is notified.

“Based on current information from the investigation, the campus is safe,” Verett said. "As we gather further information, we will update campus community, public and the media.”

UT President Gregory Fenves, who returned from Amarillo to speak to the media at the press conference, said multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating this as a possible act of homicide. He said counseling services are available for students.

“My heart and our hearts go out to the victim and the family,” Fenves said. “It’s a tragic day for our campus community.”

To watch the press conference, check out our Periscope from the event here.

Update (4:55 p.m.): The victim is a woman in her 20s, according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

Update (2:53 p.m.): The College of Fine Arts canceled theatre and dance classes and production rehearsals for the rest of the day, according to an email from Cassandra Gholston, marketing director for the theatre and dance department. A community gathering in the Brockett Theatre atrium will take place at 6 p.m. tonight. Counselors from the Counseling and Mental Health Center are available throughout the day and this evening in the Winship building.

“We know this is a difficult time,” Gholston said in the email. “Please be respectful of information you share on social media.”

Update (12:40 p.m.): More photos from the scene by Daily Texan photographer Marshall Tidrick:

Update (12:25 p.m.): According to the UPTD crime logs, no homicides on campus have occurred in the past ten years.

In an email to the University community, UT President Gregory Fenves said campus public safety leaders are “doing everything possible to ensure safety on campus.”  

“We are also working closely with Austin police to identify possible suspects. We are unable to release the name of the victim or any details until the family has been notified. Based on the information we have and our conversations with police, the campus continues to operate fully, and all classes and events remain on schedule,” Fenves said in the email.

Update (12:20 p.m.): Civil engineering freshman Kelly Mullins said she got a notification in class that UTPD was investigating a homicide scene.

“Typically, that kind stuff happens by non-UT students off-campus, and this is kind of a shock to me,” Mullins said. “There’s tons of people going in and out of campus all the time, and for a dead body to be found on campus is terrifying.”

Update (12:10 p.m.): Daily Texan reporter Caleb Wong is at the crime scene. Follow him on Twitter at @caleber96 for live updates.

A few photos from the scene by Daily Texan photographer Stephanie Martinez-Arndt:

Original story: The University police department said Tuesday morning it was investigating a possible homicide.

According to an email sent to the University, UTPD responded to reports of a dead body in a creek near campus west of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center around 10:46 a.m. on Tuesday.

The area around Waller Creek has been closed off to the public for an investigation since around 10:45 a.m., according to a police officer on the scene. He said he wasn’t sure how long the investigation would take.  

UTPD said the the death is being investigated as a homicide. UTPD said it did not have any suspects at the time.

The police is asking for those with any possible information related to the crime to call (512) 471-4441.

This story is developing and will be updated as we receive more information.