Suspect charged in murder of Lauren Burk

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A 23-year old man from Smiths Station, Alabama has been arrested for the murder of Lauren Burk, an 18-year old Auburn University student. Burk had been found March 4th along Alabama Highway 147, fatally injured from a single gunshot wound. Courtney L. Lockhart has been charged with capital murder during a kidnapping, capital murder during a robbery and capital murder during an attempted rape.

Burk's murder drew national interest. Gov. Bob Riley offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer(s). A combined local, state, and federal task force investigated the case.

Shortly after the murder, Burk's car was found burning on the Auburn campus. The next day investigators discovered a surveillance photo of Lockhart buying gas at a local mini-mart near where Burk's body was found. They had their suspect but they didn't know who he was.

Lockhart was arrested March 7 after a high-speed chase. He had been stopped for speeding. When the car matched a vehicle involved in a recent robbery, backup was called in. Lockhart later confessed to robbing an elderly woman the previous week, and to four other robberies.