Family of slain Auburn student wants better security on campus

Legal adviser says family wants school to acknowledge it failed to adequately protect their daughter


Jan. 24--Nearly six years after the death of their daughter, the family of Lauren Burk said they hope Auburn University will implement better security on campus in order to prevent any other students from facing their daughter's fate.

Jim Burk is trying to spread the message that his daughter, who was killed on March 4, 2008 after being kidnapped near an Auburn dormitory, might still be alive if there had been better security on campus.

Auburn University spokesman Mike Clardy said it is the university's policy to not discuss ongoing investigations.

Following their daughter's death, the Burks filed a claim with the Alabama Board of Adjustment against Auburn University seeking $1 million, although Burk said the complaint is only a small part of the issue and that the money was not important.

"We're just trying to get the security on campus better," Burk said. "Jim Burk and his family just want to make sure that the campus is secure."

According to the Alabama Board of Adjustment, attorney Mays Jemison filed a claim against the university in March 2010 on behalf of the Burk family. No action has been taken on the matter. Jemison could not be reached for comment.

Drew Findling, legal adviser to the Burk family, said Auburn University should have resolved the complaint a long time ago and that what the Burk family is ultimately seeking is acknowledgement from the university that it failed to adequately protect their daughter.

"The family is just shocked at what they perceive as somewhat of a silent treatment they've gotten by the university," Findling said.

Police reports indicate Courtney Lockhart, a Smiths Station resident, abducted Burk during a robbery and later killed her when she tried to escape. In 2010, Lockhart was convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to death.

Copyright 2014 - Opelika-Auburn News, Ala.