The police in Chicago in the United States have arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly raping and murdering a 19-year-old Indian-American student, PTI reported on Tuesday. The woman was found strangled in a campus parking garage on Saturday, and two days later the police formally booked the accused, identified as Donald Thurman, for first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault.

The woman reportedly went missing on Friday evening, when her family could not contact her. The following day, the police were notified, according to the university where she was a student. Thurman, who was arrested on Sunday from a metro station, is not associated with the university or the woman, according to the police.

The teenager, whose family is from Hyderabad, was found dead in the back seat of a car. According to surveillance footage, Thurman was seen walking behind her and following her into the garage around 1.35 am. He was seen leaving the garage at 2.10 am, reported local news channel ABC 7.

Police officials claimed that Thurman had confessed to the murder. The police have reviewed footage from cameras of the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago police department, and its internal system to ascertain his travel patterns.

Thurman has a criminal history and was out on parole for armed robbery. He was released on December 2018 after serving two years of a six-year term.

“All of us are devastated,” said chancellor of the university where the victim studied. “She had dreams and aspirations to become a health professional and help others. Our thoughts, our hearts, and our condolences are with her family and friends during this trying period.”

Yellow ribbons have been put up around the university in the woman’s memory as it was her favourite colour, ABC 7 reported.