partlycloudy
Monday May 30th, 2016 2:28PM

Parents of slain Auburn student file complaint

By The Associated Press
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) The parents of a slain Auburn University student from suburban Atlanta said they've filed an official claim against the school.

Lauren Burk's parents told WSB-TV they believe she might still be alive if the school had a campus police department. Burk, a graduate of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., was abducted from a campus parking lot and killed in March 2008. Courtney Lockhart was convicted in her murder and was sentenced to death.

"It's like it happened yesterday," Jim Burk said of his daughter's death. "There's not a day that goes by that my family doesn't have her close in our mind and heart."

"Losing a child is like carrying stones in your pocket at all times," said Lauren Burk's mother, Viviane Guerschon. ``You get used to the weight, but the weight is always there.''

Police said Lockhart abducted Burk from a parking lot outside an Auburn dorm during a bungled robbery attempt. He forced her to take off her clothes and drove around, investigators said. Lockhart shot Burk in the chest as she tried to escape by jumping from the moving car, police said. She died along the side of the road a short time later.

Phenix City police arrested Lockhart a few days later.

Burk's parents said they think the presence of campus police officers could have prevented the crime. Auburn shuttered its police department several years before the killing to save money. Auburn city police patrol the campus. Burk's parents also said they believe Auburn didn't follow security recommendations in a federal report.

Auburn cannot be sued because of sovereign immunity laws, WSB-TV reports. The Burk family says it has filed a claim against the school with the state's Board of Adjustment. The board can consider the claim and use state money to compensate cases that it feels have merit. The Burks' claim asks for $1 million, but Burk's father said it's not just about money.

``It's kind of a moral claim, and I want them to be judged by public opinion,'' he said. ``My concern is to make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else.''

A spokesman for the university said the university doesn't comment on pending investigations.

© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
DEPUTY: Double shooting in Forsyth County is domestic-related
​Forsyth County authorities said a double shooting incident early Monday morning was the result of a domestic-related incident.
1:35PM ( 53 minutes ago )
PHOTO GALLERY: Memorial Day Parade in Gainesville honors fallen veterans
Crowds lined historic Green Street in downtown Gainesville Monday morning as a plethora of entries paraded the street.
1:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
PHOTO GALLERY: Gainesville, Hall County remember fallen military during Memorial Day
In public parks and at church services, Hall County residents took time Sunday to remember U.S. military members who offered the ultimate sacrifice in battle.
By B.J. Williams
1:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tropical Depression Bonnie means another bad beach day
Tropical Depression Bonnie is stalled over coastal South Carolina coast, bringing heavy rain and the rough tides to an area packed with tourists for the Memorial Day weekend
11:04PM ( 15 hours ago )
Gainesville area leads Georgia for most Memorial Day weekend BUIs
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has released statistics on boating incidents for the Memorial Day Weekend and the Gainesville area has seen the most Boating Under the Influence incidents of any major waterway in the state.
10:00PM ( 16 hours ago )