BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland doctoral student is dead after a visit to Chicago. Police said 31-year-old Anat Kimchi was stabbed and killed Saturday afternoon.

University of Maryland identified Kimchi as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

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“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,” the university said in a statement.

They believe the suspect is a homeless man.

“We suspect this likely is a homeless person that secreted himself in the bushes and came out and committed this heinous crime,” Brown told CBS Chicago.

Credit: University of Maryland in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Kimchi was visiting Chicago over the weekend when she was attacked on Saturday afternoon. Police said she was stabbed in the back and radio transmissions among first responders reveal she may have also suffered neck injuries.

Police said Kimchi was walking along an area known as “The Loop” when someone came up from behind with a knife. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“As you can see, there is a homeless encampment that is adjacent to where this crime scene is. We suspect this likely is a homeless person that secreted themselves in the bushes and came out and committed this heinous crime,” said David Brown, Chicago Police Superintendent.

The Loop is in Downtown Chicago about a block from the Willis Tower, a popular tourist destination.  However, police said the crime happened in a secluded area near a highway. The police superintendent said the crime was captured on surveillance but the suspect disappeared.

READ MORE: ‘My Heart Breaks For Her’: Remembering Anat Kimchi, Student Stabbed To Death In The Loop

Detectives followed the path they think the suspect took, possibly running through an expressway tunnel.

Some of the crime might have been caught on POD video, and there are cooperating witnesses, Brown said. He said police are following the trail of the assailant on POD video – and he was seen walking down a ramp and disappearing down an underpass.

Friends have fond memories of Kimchi.

“She was just a beautiful soul. Physically gorgeous. Had her whole life ahead of her,” said friend Maria Olsen.

“My heart breaks for her,” Olsen said. “And she had many friends in this community, many, many friends.”

Kimchi went to Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Montgomery County and continued to advance through her academic career to become a doctoral candidate in The University of Maryland’s Department of Criminal Justice.

Donations in Kimchi’s memory can be made on the school’s website via this link. Click on “Acknowledgment Card” and then enter Anat Kimchi’s name before submitting your donation.

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Kimchi’s funeral service will be this Wednesday.

Ava-joye Burnett