The suspected killer, Meechaiel Criner, is an African immigrant raised in foster care–apparently his childhood was violent. According to him he didn’t allow this to affect him, and instead wanted to stick up for the weaker person. Then this happened…
A 17-year-old homeless ‘runaway’ has been charged with the brutal murder of UT student Haruka Weiser in Austin – as police revealed security cameras showed the suspect following her with a ‘sharp silver object’.
Meechaiel Khalili Criner was arrested Thursday night after he was caught trying to destroy some of the 18-year-old’s possessions by setting them alight.
Firefighters called to the scene recognized him as the suspect seen in security footage riding Weiser’s bike away from the scene and alerted police. Officers also found him to be in possession of the bike.
And as police confirmed his arrest, a chilling interview Criner gave to his high school newspaper emerged in which he claimed he wanted people to remember his name.
In the December 2014 interview, Criner said that he was mocked for his African accent and had to leave his alcoholic mother to go and live with his grandmother while he was living in Texarkana, roughly 375 miles away from Austin.
He also claimed he grew up in a broken home and was physically abused.
Asked if he was filled with rage after a ‘lifetime’ of bullying, Criner told the Texas High School newspaper that he felt the opposite and ‘liked to stand up for people’.
And in one haunting passage, Criner said that even though he felt people underestimated him, he wanted to be remembered: ‘What I want to leave behind is my name – I want them to know who Meechaiel Criner is’.
In the interview, Criner revealed how he was entered into foster care in fifth grade and was subjected to institutional violence and said the ‘harsh time’ made him realize people can be ‘mean and hateful’.
Speaking with a thick African accent, he described his time in care as ‘like being in prison’ but despite the trauma, he remained determined he would ‘take a different path’.
Austin police chief Art Acevedo confirmed that murder charges will be filed against Criner this afternoon saying: ‘We are certain that the subject we have in custody is the suspect responsible.’
Family members were shocked to hear of Criner’s arrest in connection with the case, reported KSLA.
While they declined to comment on camera, Criner’s grandmother told KSLA News 12 that they hadn’t seen or heard from him since he left home last August.
Ballerina Weiser – described by a former dance teacher as having a ‘dancer’s soul’ – was last seen leaving the campus drama building Sunday night.
Her body was found Tuesday in a creek near the alumni center and UT’s iconic football stadium, an area bustling with activity day and night.
Weiser, 18, from Portland, Oregon, was a first year theater and dance student at the university and was reported missing on Monday morning by fellow roommates.
An affidavit released by police Friday revealed that Weiser had called friend Sylvia Feghali at 9.30 pm and advised she was on the way home from her class at the F Loren Winship Drama Building located on East 23rd Street and San Jacinto blvd.
Texas PD received a call the following morning from her friend Sylvia to say she hadn’t come home. She had been wearing a long sleeve black mock turtle neck shirt, black stretch pants and brown Doc Martin shoes.
She had a blue duffle bag with a Mac Book computer, Iphone 6 and study materials for school.
Police conducted a cursory search for her in Waller Creek Monday but found nothing.
A young female was then found on Tuesday morning with obvious trauma to her body and her death was ruled as homicide. Police have also said she was assaulted but would not elaborate on what kind of assault.