Thousands gather to mourn slain UVA student

By Laura Geller - bio | email

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) – Wednesday night, thousands gathered on the University of Virginia campus to mourn the loss of a fellow student.  22-year old Yeardley Love was found brutally murdered early Monday morning.  Her alleged killer George Huguely, a student whom friends say she dated, remains behind bars.

The pain of Love's fellow students was palpable Wednesday night.  Even after the last note was sung, the 3,000 gathered at the UVA amphitheater did not move a muscle.  They continued to sit in silence, united in their grief.

In that moment of silence all you could hear were sniffles and sobs for the 22-year old lacrosse player.

"Just a sense of sort of heartbreak for the loss of another human life, how can you not feel something," asked student Claire Thomas.

At a time when students should be cramming for finals, they gathered to remember a life ended far too soon and in such a brutal manner.

"Yeardley's death is beyond belief and the actions that led to her death are painfully difficult to think about.  But for many of us, there has been very little else that we have been able to think about," said 4th Year Class President Sarah Elaine Hart.

University President John Casteen spoke candidly to his students, at times, choking back tears.

"My hope for Yeardley and for you is that her dying inspires an anger, a sense of outrage that engenders determination here and wherever Yeardley's name is recognized," he said.

The message to this stunned community, haunted by a tragedy they're struggling to understand was clear: "When you hear a scream, don't stay silent."

Yeardley Love was set to graduate in just a few weeks.  Family and friends will say their final goodbyes this weekend.  Love's funeral will take place Saturday at 10 o'clock in the morning at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.

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