An American couple planned to spend a year cycling around the world together but their journey came to a tragic end when they were killed in an attack in Tajikistan, with ISIS allegedly claiming responsibility.
Lauren Geoghegan and her partner Jay Austin were the two Americans killed on July 29, according to a statement from her family.
"The yearlong bicycle adventure Lauren and her partner, Jay Austin, were enjoying was typical of her enthusiastic embrace of life’s opportunities, her openness to new people and places, and her quest for a better understanding of the world," her parents Robert and Elvira Geoghegan said in the statement.
Geoghegan, 29, was a graduate of Georgetown University and worked at the school's office of admissions, according to the family's statement.
Charles Deacon, the dean of admissions at Georgetown, released a statement of condolences.
"We are heartbroken to hear of Lauren’s passing in this devastating tragedy and have expressed our deepest condolences to her family. Lauren was a valued colleague and dear friend to many at Georgetown and an overall treasured member of our community," Deacon said in a statement to ABC News.
According to a website that she and Austin, 29, kept to track their bike journey, they both quit their jobs before launching on the adventure. Austin wrote in one blog post that he worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
At the time of their deaths, their adventure had taken them to three continents.
"We're comfortable just pedaling where the winds and the world and our own hearts take us," Geoghegan and Austin wrote on the website they created to track their journey.
Their journey began in South Africa in July 2017, biking for five months to Dar es Salaam. From there, they flew to Morocco, journeyed to Spain and then biked from there through Europe to Istanbul. They flew from Almaty, Kazakhtan, in May and biked through that country before crossing into Tajikistan.
They had plans to head across Asia "and we'll maybe even dip down into Australia" before making the trip home, with no firm end date listed on the site.
The family thanked the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Dushanbe "for their capable and compassionate assistance to our family at this difficult time."
The embassy released a statement about the July 29 attack, reporting that "Tajik citizens hit seven foreign cyclists with their vehicle, exited the car, and stabbed the cyclists with knives."
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert extended their condolences to the families of the victims and acknowledged reports that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack but could not confirm the validity of those claims.