Lauren Burk's Mom: 'I Don't Understand It'

Photo taken from a public online memorial dedicated to Burk on
Photo taken from a public online memorial dedicated to Burk on

MARIETTA, GA ( -- It was almost a year ago when metro Atlanta was shocked by the murder of a college student. Lauren Burk, a Marietta native, was a freshman at Auburn when she was abducted from campus and shot and killed a few miles away when she tried to escape.

Lauren's mother spoke about her daughter's murder for the first time publicly with WSB-TV Channel 2's Jovita Moore.

"I pretty much screamed and threw things around and then I tried to calm down," said Lauren Burk's mother, Viviane Guerchon.

Guerchon said it was the call she will never forget.

"That was the worst phone call I ever got in my whole entire life. He said, I'll never forget, ‘She's gone, Viviane, she's gone,'" said Guerchon.

Lauren Burk, 18, was a freshman at Auburn. Her parents encouraged her to go there, thinking the small town campus was safe.

When asked to describe Lauren, Guerchon said, "You looked into her eyes and you just saw happiness. Totally carefree, loved nature."

The Marietta native was shot to death after being abducted from the Auburn campus in March 2008.

"(She was in the) wrong place at the wrong time I guess," said Guerchon. "I don't have an answer. I don't understand it. I don't think I'll ever understand."

As the first anniversary approaches, Lauren's mother said she struggles with the violent death of her daughter.

"Do you just die inside and let her memory be forgotten or do you try to help others in her honor of the life she led. Because she was such a sweet kid, a great kid," said Guerchon.

Burk's mother is now teaming up with attorney Gary Martin Hays to try to protect other children.

"With Lauren's involvement in ‘Keep Georgia Safe' I think kids will relate more," said Guerchon.

is the name of the nonprofit group that wants to train police officers and teach kids how to keep themselves from danger.

"My wife and I have three daughters and (Lauren's death) affected us greatly. We wanted to know what we can do to take care of our daughters," said Hays.

"We want to put our kids in bubble wrap and protective helmets every time we send them out the door but we can't be with them every time, all day long," said Hays.

Guerchon said she's constantly second guessing what she could've done to protect her daughter. She's hoping other parents can learn from her tragedy.

"Yeah, we worry about them when they're little, but they go to college and it's not like your work is done. You have to remind them every day to be careful," said Guerchon.