U.Md. criminology student killed in Chicago identified

The University of Maryland identified a researcher killed in downtown Chicago over the weekend.

Anat Kimchi, 31, was a doctoral candidate studying criminology, described by the school as “a brilliant young scholar.” The Israeli-born woman grew up in Maryland and was a graduate of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

University officials sent a letter explaining the death to the faculty, staff and student community, Gary La Free, chair and professor of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said in an email.

Dear CCJS community:

It is with great sadness that we share news regarding the tragic loss of one of our own.  Anat Kimchi (ABD, Flagship Fellow) was fatally stabbed Saturday afternoon in Chicago in what looks to be a random attack.  We do not have any details yet about pending arrangements or plans to celebrate Anat’s life and contribute to her memory, but we will share information with you as soon as it is available.  Anat was already a notably accomplished scholar, but more importantly she was a remarkable woman who was beloved by friends and family.   Please keep her loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

We also understand that this news is shocking and traumatic.  If you feel the need to talk with someone about this tragic development, please contact the University of Maryland Counseling Center Support line at:  Counseling Center Crisis Support Line: (301) 314-7651.”

Chicago police found Kimchi lying on a sidewalk in the city’s Loop District at South Wacker Drive, suffering from two stab wounds to the upper back, around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Officers said she was rushed to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A witness told police the attacker may have thrown a knife into the Chicago River, the paper reported. Police believe the suspect is homeless.

According to NBC Washington, a man was hiding in the shrubs, pulled a knife and stabbed Kimchi in the neck. Much of the crime was captured on security camera video, but it has not been released by police.

The student was in town for personal reasons, the Tribune reported.

“The University of Maryland grieves the loss of Anat Kimchi, a brilliant young scholar. We offer our condolences to her friends and family during this difficult time,” university officials said in an email.

And in a statement Monday, the Kimchi family said, “We are mourning the loss of Anat and ask for privacy during this difficult time.” Anyone interested in making a donation in her memory, the family is directing all contributing to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal levels for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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