Filed under: Auburn University

Major Break in the Lauren Burk Murder Case

The local Fox affiliate here in Atlanta is reporting a “major break” in the investigation into the murder of Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk. A press conference will be held Saturday morning in Auburn to address any new developments in the case. My Fox Atlanta reported that the suspect led police on a high speed chase. The suspect may also be responsible for armed robberies in Newnan, GA and Phenix City, Alabama.

Lauren Burk was killed Tuesday night. Shortly after she was found mortally wounded beside Alabama Highway 147, Burk’s car was discovered in flames on the Auburn Campus.

Additional link: WSFA Ch. 12 in Montgomery, Al.

UPDATE, 3/08/08

(Thanks to reader “Pinecone” for the heads-up.)

It looks as though Auburn police plan to charge Courtney Lockhart, age 22, with the murder of Lauren Burk.

WRBL TV in the Auburn area is reporting that Lockhart will be charged Saturday morning. The CBS affiliate also says that “investigators have recovered evidence connecting” Lockhart to Burk’s death.

Lori Slesinski and Lauren Burk: Is there a connection?

Lauren A. Burk, an 18-year-old freshman at Auburn University, was murdered last night in Auburn, Alabama. Lauren, a 2007 graduate of Walton High School, came from Marietta, Georgia — just down the road from where I live. Burk’s death has been all over the news in Atlanta today.

Lauren was wounded when she was found on Alabama Highway 147 Tuesday night. She passed away later in the evening at an Auburn-area hospital.

Nearly a half-hour after Lauren was found, a vehicle was discovered in flames on the Auburn Campus.

The burning car was Lauren A. Burk’s Honda Civic.

No arrests have been made, and the AP has reported an increased police presence on the University campus.

Auburn University grad Lori Ann Slesinksi was last seen in Auburn, Alabama on June 10, 2006. After Lori’s mom hadn’t heard from Lori for several days, she visited her daughter’s residence at the Ridgewood Village Trailer Park. Her trip to Lori’s home convinced her something was wrong, and she contacted local police.

Early in the morning on June 14, a blue Mazda was found burning beside DeKalb Street in Auburn. It was Lori’s car.

Lori Slesinski was unhappy with her job when she vanished, but she was close to her family and friends. Still, no one has heard from Lori in nearly 2 years.

I’m not the only person wondering if there is some connection between Lori and Lauren. Read an interesting quote left by a reader on an article about Lauren Burk’s murder at OANow.com, a website dedicated to covering news in the Opelika-Auburn area:

Posted by ( PamelaD ) on March 05, 2008 at 3:17 pm

There is another female auburn student who has been missing for over a year now – and her car was found burning too!
I hope the police are looking into a possible connection with both cases.

It’s so scary to think that we might have a serial killer in Auburn.

When the other girl went missing it took the police here a month to put out fliers – after orientation for new students was over. – Surprise, surprise.

Part of another comment left earlier in that thread is worth noting:

Posted by ( dbarrs ) on March 05, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I am a close friend of Lauren’s family. If you knew the details of this case, you’d be concerned that students are not safe… the murderer has NOT been caught and Lauren was most probably kidnapped on campus…

There are differences between the known details of each case — the ages and appearances of the victims, for example. Lori Slesinski was a 24-year-old blonde, Lauren Burk an 18-year-old brunette. And of course, Lori Slesinski has never been found.

OANow reader PamelaD may be premature in bringing up the idea of a serial killer at work in Auburn. Plenty of criminals try to cover up their crimes by burning vehicles, and young women alone, sadly, make prime targets for lots of criminals, not just sexual predators.

That said, two young women either missing or killed in two years at the same university, their vehicles burned — can we just ignore the possibility that there’s a relationship between these tragic events?

I don’t think we can. Your words are welcome in the comments below. Please be respectful of the families of the victims and of each other, and please keep the discussion on the topic at hand.

Additional link: Lori Slesinski’s MySpace page (thanks, tellurstorywalkin).