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ACMA grad found slain at University of Texas

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Haruka Weiser rehearses with the Portland Ballet in 2014.Authorities in Texas had identified the body of an 18-year-old homicide victim as Haruka Weiser, a graduate of Beaverton's Arts & Communication Magnet Academy.

Weiser was found in Waller Creek at the University of Texas campus on Tuesday morning. Her identity was released to the public on Thursday, April 7, according to Pamplin Media Group's news partner KOIN 6 News.

Weiser was a first-year student studying theater and dance at the university.

Haruka WeiserPolice had been searching for Weiser since Monday, shortly after she was reported missing.

The cause of death is still under investigation and has not yet been released, according to Texas authorities, but has been confirmed as a homicide. No suspects have been named.

Weiser’s body was found between the Winship Drama Building and her listed address in the 300 block of East 21st Street according to the UT directory, which is just a third of a mile. Her classmates said the Waller Creek trail was the route she would take home.

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Austin police released some information about a possible suspect in the case and offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

In a letter to students and faculty, UT Austin president Gregory Fenves said he is closely monitoring the investigation and expressed his condolences.

“The unthinkable brutality against Haruka is an attack on our entire family. Law enforcement is fully engaged to do everything to bring the perpetrator who committed this crime to justice,” Fenves wrote.

Weiser had been studying dance at ACMA since the sixth grade and graduated last year.

Weiser spoke with Pamplin Media Group in 2014 in a profile about the Portland Ballet's upcoming Thanksgiving performance.

“Every time before a show, for me at least, it gets really rough. I’ll be like, ‘I want to quit. I never want to dance again.’ And as soon as the show happens, I’m back in it,” Weiser told reporter Caitlin Feldman. “It really is a rush. There really is nothing like it, and it is so short. To people who maybe are more logical than me, it’s not worth it. But somehow that cycle of it just keeps happening over and over again and keeps you going.”


Related coverage:

Austin police arrest 17-year-old in Beaverton woman's murder

Beaverton's ACMA mourns young dancer