sarmistha sen

Sarmistha Sen was killed the morning of Aug. 1 on a trail in a park in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas. (representational image/pixabay.com)

NEW YORK – An Indian American cancer researcher was killed in Texas while she was jogging, and police say they have arrested a man in connection with the attack.

Sarmistha Sen, 43, was killed the morning of Aug. 1 on a trail in a park in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.

A "person of interest related to this homicide is currently in custody,” police said in a statement.

The man was arrested while police investigated a nearby burglary, according to police.

Dallas Fox TV identified the man arrested as Bakari Moncrief.

It said that although he is now charged with only burglary, his bail has been set at $1 million.

The station quoted Plano police officer David Tilley as saying: "We have our suspicions, but we have to have proof. And that's what they're looking for right now, is trying to obtain proof as to whether or not this individual is or is not responsible for her death."

Local media showed an outpouring of sympathy for the mother of two sons by the people of Plano, who set up an impromptu shrine in her honor at the place where her body was found.

Along with a picture of her and posters and notes of condolence, they placed dozens of jogging shoes around it in symbolic tribute to the woman who regularly jogged on the trail and was killed while running.

Her brother Sumit Sen told Dallas Fox TV: "It makes me feel inspired. She's an inspiration for me. It makes me feel grateful to the community for such generous support. Her life is a life full of purpose and it's not over. Her soul lives on."

Sen was a pharmacist who studied molecular biology and worked with cancer patients at the University of Texas as a researcher.

Local NBC TV said that according to a friend, she was a talented singer who was involved with the community.

Mario Major, a close friend of the family, told WFAA-TV at the site of the makeshift memorial: "It touched me. It's great when I've seen hundreds of shoes because you know what, people care. Why would something like this happen to someone who's such a great human being?"

Praveen Chintala, whose son played baseball with one of Sen's sons, said, "It's unbelievable. It's devastating. I mean they're a very close-knit family. This is going to hurt. It's going to hurt. It's going to take a long, long time for them to heal."

India-West Staff Reporter adds: According to a GoFundMe page set up for Sen, she was born in Sindri, India, where she grew up, and later moved to Bangalore for higher studies and work. Eventually she moved too Plano, where she studied at the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Birmingham, Alabama, and worked on cancer research for most of her career. She was settled in Plano with her husband of 16 years, Arindam and sons Neil and Ryan, and devoted her life to their comfort, health and happiness, the page said.

The GoFundMe fund will be used for charities that are devoted to issues that Sen deeply cared about such as cancer awareness, cancer research and protection of environment. See here for more information: https://gf.me/u/yk79ki.

As of Aug. 3, the fund had received donations of over $11,000 out of total goal of $20,000.

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