Students Hold Prayer Service for Murdered Freshman

Auburn, AL (WFSA-TV) - It's been an unimaginable few days for the city of Auburn.

Students are overwhelmed with grief, and authorities are scrambling for a suspect.

"I have over 30 investigators on this case as we speak.  We've increased our man power, and I want to show that the Auburn Police Department will do absolutely everything possible to bring this case to a conclusion," explained Asst. Chief Tommy Dawson of the Auburn Police Department.

Back on campus, students gathered at the school's chapel, sharing prayers and thoughts for the victim--Lauren Burk, 18--and her family.

With campus shootings making headlines in the past year, students have heard it all before, but with a tragedy this close to home, Auburn coeds are on edge.

"It just really makes you think about things more, and that you have to be careful.  You have to be mindful of what's going on around you," explained Diedre Long, an Auburn sophomore.

It's hard to push past the lack of closure in this case, but with burke's sorority sisters--even perfect strangers--in attendance to remember the young freshman, students say their message is clear.

"It's time for young people to get serious and realize that violence is rising, and when violence rises, we need to cap it with prayer," said Shaemun Webster, a sophomore at Auburn.

With Thursday's service comes comfort from fellow students--as a member of their Auburn family is gone.

"It's not that we're scared, but we're trying to look out for each other and try to take the necessary steps," explained senior Scott Odom.

NOTE:  Monday, Auburn University will hold an official memorial service on Samford Lawn at 3:00PM.  Students are encouraged to attend.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke