Friday, March 7, 2008

Lauren Burk's family speaks

Lauren Burk's family has established a public reward fund to help catch her killer in addition to the $10,000 offered by Alabama's governor.

Family friend and spokeswoman Kathy Singleton said Friday morning that contributions to the Lauren Burk Memorial Fund may be made at any Wachovia bank. If the money does not go to a tipster, she said, it will be donated to charity.

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Singleton said Burk's family was grateful for the kindness and prayers expressed during this tragedy and asked for privacy.

"They're in a great deal of pain," she said. "It's a difficult time."
Singleton spoke to the media at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, where a public memorial service will be held Saturday at 5 p.m. Burk's funeral service will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Temple Kol Emeth.

In a statement on behalf of the family, she said that the Auburn Police Department is doing everything possible to find the person responsible for Burk's death. The freshman was shot about 9 p.m. Tuesday night near the Auburn campus.
"The family acknowledges the public's desire for information regarding this crime," she said. "However, they respectfully ask for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time."
Singleton said many requests have been made about ways to honor Burk.
"Her favorite charitable cause was The Invisible Child, which supports the starving children in Africa," Singleton said.

Donations may also be made to the American Kidney Foundation and the Oglethorpe Scholarship Fund.

Burk's alma mater, Walton High School, held a moment of silence in her memory before Thursday night's girls junior varsity lacrosse game. Burk had played for the JV team.

In her Marietta neighborhood late Thursday afternoon, friends were devastated by her death.
"It's unbelievable how close it hits," said Matt St. Germain, 24. "Everybody lost something that day, not just her friends."
He met Burk when she was in elementary school and he was friends with her older sister.
"She was an amazing person," St. Germain said. "She was nice to every single person she ever met. Anything you could think of that was good, you could write down about her."
Peyton Jackson, 15, Burk's next-door neighbor, said he heard the news Wednesday morning. "Someone told me and I didn't believe it," he said.
He would go to the Burk home to hang out with her brother, Chad, a Walton junior.
"She had a lot going for her," he said. "She was a nice girl, she had a great personality."
Shea Amin, who lives in Burk's father's neighborhood, said an e-mail circulated Wednesday telling neighbors where to send condolences and to drop off food at a neighbor's house.
"It's so sad," she said. "When I heard about it, I said, 'I hope it's not our neighbors.'"
She said she called her son, Nima Ghomghani, a Walton graduate, who is celebrating his 24th birthday at Disney World.
"He said, 'Mom, I don't want to hear. Please don't tell me who it is,'" she said.

Just sad.

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