Lifestyle & Human Interest

Family of Murdered Teen Releases Incredible Statement of Faith: 'We Grieve with Hope'


Less than a week after University of Illinois-Chicago student Ruth George was found unresponsive in her car following a brutal attack, her family said they “hold no hatred” toward the man charged with murdering her and that they “grieve with hope.”

The 19-year-old was reported missing by her family on Saturday morning after they had not heard from her since the previous evening, according to UIC Police.

“Her phone was ‘pinged’ to the Halsted Street Parking Garage and UIC Police and family members responded to find Ms. George unresponsive in the back seat of a vehicle owned by her family,” police said in a news release Monday.

The medical examiner later ruled George’s death a homicide by strangulation.

UIC arrested the suspect, 26-year-old Donald D. Thurman, after closely following his transportation habits via security cameras.

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Thurman was taken into custody on Sunday and “gave a full confession to this horrific crime” later that same day, police said.

He was formally charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault the next day.

Also Tuesday, George’s family released a statement saying she “lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,” according to WMAQ.

“She was the beloved baby of our family,” the family’s statement continued.

“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.”

Those who knew her from school held similar views of the student who was ruthlessly killed.

George, the fundraising chair for Delta Epsilon Mu, a pre-health co-ed fraternity, regularly served more than the group’s two-hours-per-week volunteer requirement, chapter president Kevin Roy told UIC Today.

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George was also part of UIC’s Honors College.

“Some people can light up a room, and Ruthie was one of those people,” Honors College assistant dean Michele McCrillis said.

“But it’s her smile that I remember, and will miss, the most.”

Tomer Kanan, one of George’s professors, read aloud the recommendation letter he would have sent to graduate schools on her behalf.

“Ruthie was a gifted individual in many regards. She was compassionate, enthusiastic, sincere and incredibly dedicated to her studies. She never missed an opportunity to help one of her peers,” he said.

“I believe Ruthie would have made incredible contributions in her future.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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