College student shot dead; car torched

Lauren Burk
Lauren Burk

AUBURN, Ala. (CBS/AP) -- An Auburn University student was found fatally shot on a highway just before her car was discovered in flames on campus, several miles away.

Auburn police were investigating Tuesday's death of Lauren Burk as a homicide but made no immediate arrests.

"As soon as we know more we might release it, but what information we have now we're holding it close to our chest," police Capt. Tom Stofer said.

University officials advised students in an e-mail around noon Wednesday that there was "no indication of additional danger to campus or student safety." But the school said the police presence on campus had been increased.

Burk, an 18-year-old freshman from Marietta, Ga., was found wounded on Alabama Highway 147 around 9 p.m. Tuesday, and Auburn police said her Honda Civic was found engulfed in flames at the campus about 20 minutes later. She died Tuesday night at a hospital.

Gov. Bob Riley's office is offering a $10,000 reward in the case, Stofer said.

Confusion and shock spread throughout campus quickly Wednesday morning, the Auburn Plainsman reported.

"I want to know what caused it, because obviously she was targeted," Jeni Young, a freshman in special education, told the newspaper.

An on-campus prayer vigil for Burk was being organized by her friends, and a memorial was being planned by her sorority, Delta Gamma.

"Delta Gammas across the country offer hope and friendship to Lauren's family and all who have been affected by this tragedy," the sorority's national office said in a statement.

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.