Body discovered on University of Texas campus sparks homicide investigation

The body was found in a creek across the street from Darrell K Royal Stadium.

AUSTIN — Authorities here opened a homicide investigation after a woman was found dead Tuesday morning in a wooded stretch of Waller Creek in the heart of the University of Texas at Austin campus.

The body was discovered before 11 a.m. by the creek behind the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd, which is just across San Jacinto Boulevard from Darrell K Royal Stadium, said University of Texas Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Posey.

By late afternoon, officials had not determined her identity or the cause of death, UTPD Captain Don Verett said at a press conference.

Student speculation on social media described a female theater and dance student who had been missing since the weekend. And at about 2 p.m., the university sent emails to at least some students to tell them the College of Fine Arts had canceled theater and dance classes for the remainder of the day and would make counselors available.

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Officials declined to take questions at the press conference, which was attended by UT President Gregory Fenves.

The campus will stay open, and classes and events will continue, Fenves said. He said police, Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Rangers will increase patrols.

"This is a tragic day for any student who walks across our beautiful campus and expects to be safe," Fenves said. "When they learn of a tragedy like this they have concerns about their personal safety on campus."

Austin police detectives were assisting in the investigation.

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A gathering held by the College of Fine Arts at the Brockett Theatre Atrium Tuesday evening  where the dean of the college Douglas Dempster addressed students provided no more answers in the case.

Cassie Gholston, director of marketing for the college, said his remarks echoed those of the earlier press conference.

"We are all just in a place of waiting," Gholston said.

Additional details were not immediately available, but will be added to this story as they become available.

Express-News staff writer Eleanor Dearman contributed to this report.

mdwilson@express-news.net

Twitter: @MDWilsonSA