Students on edge after body found on UT-Austin campus

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Students on edge after body found on campus, Christine Dobbyn reports. (KTRK)

After a female body was found at the University of Texas at Austin, many students are being a lot more cautious.

Sophomore Katie Yates says she's going to be carrying a can of pepper spray.

"It's been under my bed for a year and a half but as of yesterday I'm carrying it with me at all times," she said, holding up the can.

Students are finding few answers to the questions they have about what exactly happened.

"It's kind of chaotic, no one knows what's going on," Yates added.

Police are releasing little information saying they are working the case as a homicide. They have not yet connected it to a missing persons case where a young woman was reported missing just a couple of days before the discovery of the body. UT President Gregory Fenves released a statement Wednesday about the lack of information being released.

"I wish we had more information to share at this time about the tragedy on campus this week. Law enforcement agencies are actively engaged in the investigation but cannot yet release details that would compromise their efforts," Fenves said.

"I'm frustrated. I called my dad. I was so sad. I was thinking about it all day like how tragic it is for the family," Alejandra Ballesteros said. "It's scary because it could have been me or Eric or Katie."

As the sun set, students participated in a march to end violence. It was planned before the discovery of the body near the alumni center on campus Tuesday, but even more meaningful Wednesday night as the homicide investigation is underway. UT Campus Police are getting assistance from Austin Police and other agencies. Late Tuesday, search and rescue team walked the wooded area near the creek where the young woman's body was found.

Austin Hounsel, a student from Houston, says the unsettling news is a concern for him.

"I often walk to and from campus and have classes that go from 7-9 pm at night. I just got out of an exam. It's very late at night and that's a concern for me," Hounsel said.

While students are being more vigilant in their safety, they acknowledged that UT is an open campus.

"We have a bus stop right there to the public. Anybody could come down here. You gotta watch out," Ryan Webster said.

Students are returning to their dorms with a lot on their minds.

"We haven't gotten more detail yet. We are curious to know what happened," said graduate student Yougia Wng.

Increased patrols will continue on campus throughout the night. Police advise any student to walk with a buddy, in a well-lit area and to be aware of your surroundings.

RELATED: Body found on UT-Austin campus

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