Unsealed search warrants provide information related to Haruka Weiser investigation

Estefania Espinosa

Search warrants unsealed Thursday reveal details related to the investigation of UT theatre and dance freshman Haruka Weiser’s death.

The documents discuss physical and forensic evidence that led to the arrest of 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner.

Weiser was reported missing on April 4, after she was last seen alive the night before leaving dance practice at the Winship Drama Building. The next morning, her body was found in Waller Creek.

According to the records, police took DNA swabs from Criner and Weiser’s body.  Detectives also recovered items from the local youth shelter where Criner was found, such as a red notebook with “Burn Book” on the cover, a yellow notebook, two cell phones, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, a gray and yellow backpack and a blue duffle bag, among other things.

The warrants state a witness told police the blue duffel bag was the same bag Weiser was carrying the night she was killed.   

Inside the backpack, investigators found a pair of white latex gloves, which were sent in for testing along with swabs of “biological matter” taken from the crime scene.

Police also seized a shoe and a jacket, believed to be Weiser’s, among items burned in an abandoned building where firefighters found Criner after the homicide.

Criner has been charged with first-degree murder and his bond has been set at $1 million. The unsealed documents confirm Weiser appears to have been sexually assaulted before being strangled to death, according to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.