*Update 4/6* The University of Texas is encouraging students to follow several safety recommendations as the investigation continues after a female body was found in the Waller Creek area on campus.
Details are still limited but in a Campus Watch email the university stresses that "multiple law enforcement agencies, in central Texas, are working together to not only solve this horrible crime but also to patrol the campus."
The UT Police Department urges people to follow the below safety recommendations:
- When walking you should be mindful of your surroundings. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Save the cellphone call or text for a time when you are not as vulnerable.
- Make sure you can hear the happenings around you. Do not put both ear buds in your ears if listening to music. Let one ear bud dangle so you can hear things around you.
- Trust your instincts. If you find yourself in a situation or location that does not feel safe or comfortable, change your environment and do so immediately.
- Learn well lit, heavily travelled, routes and use those routes.
- Do not be afraid to be loud. If you need help; scream for help.
- Walking in groups is always safer.
- The University of Texas at Austin Student Government runs a program called SURE Walk. The SURE Walk program provides foot escorts from two volunteers when requested. The volunteers are form trusted student organizations and consist of one female volunteer and one male volunteer. The program operates Monday through Thursday evenings from 10 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. For more information about this program, visit: http://utsg.org/projects/sure-walk/
- The University of Texas at Austin Police Department will provide a courtesy escort when requested and based on availability. Contact the police dispatcher at 512-471-4441; option 9 to request a courtesy escort.
- Learn what you can do to defend yourself. There are several options available to enhance your ability to protect and defend yourself. The UT Police Department offers the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program to female faculty, staff and student members. In this program, students learn a variety of things including situational awareness, crime prevention and basic, hands-on self-defense techniques. For more information about the RAD program, visit: http://police.utexas.edu/rad/ . Other campus options include joining a recreational sports club that focuses on one of the many self-defense techniques or martial arts. You could also take informal classes pertaining to self-defense techniques.
The University of Texas at Austin Police Department asks that anyone with information about this crime to contact 512-471-4441; option 9.
The body of a deceased female has been found in Waller Creek behind the alumni center on the University of Texas at Austin campus and it is being investigated as a homicide.
A message was sent out to students shortly before noon concerning the discovery of the body. The message stated that no suspects had been identified.
For those on campus tonight: I have directed 50 officers from UTPD, APD and DPS to patrol our community.— Greg Fenves (@gregfenves) April 6, 2016
President @GregFenves: UT is a family. When a tragedy like this happens, we have to come together & support each other.— UTAustinNews (@UTAustinNews) April 5, 2016
UTPD Lead Investigator says that the cause of death still under investigation.
Authorities are also not releasing the identity of the victim until next of kin have been notified however students around campus seem to know who she was.
UTPD is asking that anyone with information about this crime to contact University Police at 512-471-4441 of if it is an emergency to call 9-1-1.
UT President Greg Fenves released a statement as well. It reads:
Today, we are dealing with a tragedy on campus. University police have discovered a body in Waller Creek behind the alumni center and are investigating a possible homicide.
I have spoken with campus public safety leaders and am writing to assure you that we 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.
I will work with university police to keep you notified as new information becomes available. Anyone with information about this crime should contact university police at 512-471-4441 or, in an emergency, dial 911.
Gregory L. Fenves
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