In fact, Auburn police said Wednesday that for now they are not connecting Burk's murder with the unsolved disappearance in June 2006 of 24-year-old Auburn University graduate Lori Ann Slesinski. In that case, the woman's car was found ablaze less than a week after she was reported missing along a road.
Burk's sorority Delta Gamma released a statement about what sorority officials described as an "unexpected and disturbing" crime. The sorority urged Burk's sisters at the Auburn chapter to cooperate fully with detectives as they piece together what happened Tuesday night.
By 4 p.m. today, more than 7,500 Facebook members had joined the memorial site "RIP Lauren Burk." More than 250 photos were posted of Burk and many users — a majority of them Auburn students — had left tribute messages.
"Smiling" and "sweetheart" are two words used repeatedly to describe Burk. Some students pleaded for justice, while others put the slaying into a broader context of violence on campuses across the country.
"Lauren was another victim of the violence found in today's colleges," an Auburn Facebook user identified as Scott Odom wrote. "How much longer can those in authority ignore the impact of this violence? Lauren's death as well as the victims of other college shootings and violence does not need to be in vain."
ABC News Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV reported that Burk was a recent graduate of Walton High School in Cobb County, Ga.
The main campus at Auburn University, located in Alabama near the Georgia line, had a fall 2007 enrollment of 24,137, according to the university Web site.