Twin Coed Murders Likely Coincidental

Investigators say they don't see a link between the fatal shootings of two women this week from Georgia, one away at college in Alabama and the other in North Carolina.

The two colleges are a seven-hour drive apart, so authorities do not believe the same killer is responsible for both murders.

"I have had my investigators get in touch with authorities there just to cover that avenue. But at this time there is nothing, absolutely nothing to indicate the two cases being connected," said Assistant Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson.

On Tuesday, police found 18-year-old Lauren Burk, a freshman at Auburn University in Alabama, alone at 9 p.m. on the side of the highway near campus, with a gunshot wound.

Burk was last seen by friends two hours earlier and died later that night at the hospital. Police found her black Honda Civic engulfed in flames in a parking lot of a school dormitory nearby.

At 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, police in North Carolina found 22-year-old student Eve Carson dead in the street near campus, having been shot several times.

Neighbors had heard shots and called 911. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student was last seen at 1:30 a.m. and her blue Toyota Highlander was found parked a few miles away Thursday.

Those that knew Burk and Carson describe them both as warm, intelligent and well-liked on campus.

Jay Seifried, a close friend of Burk's, describes her as always having a smile on her face.

"She had such an impact on so many people who knew her. I just want everybody to remember her for her kind and wonderful spirit. … No one had anything against her, no enemies, I can't understand why anyone would do this," he said.

Seth Dearmin, a good friend of Carson's and former student body president, describes her as "a bright spot in anyone's day."

Dearmin said that Carson, who was president of the student body, with a double major in political science and biology, "was all about Carolina, giving back to university -- that's how she was, a great listener. She was excited about everyone else, what plans they had. She drew energy from that."

UNC chancellor James Moeser, who had gotten to know Carson through her work in student government, said that she was "selfless in many ways." Moeser also said that he didn't believe there was a connection between Carson's death and Burk's.

The murders have rocked both college communities and classmates are posting condolences on the Internet. Police at both campuses have stepped up patrols to give frightened students, and their parents, some peace of mind.

In Alabama, authorities say they have identified a suspect and may be close to an arrest today. In North Carolina, police say they currently have no suspects and no arrests have been made.

Carson was from Athens, GA and Burk was from Marietta, GA. The two towns are approximately 80 miles apart.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

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