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Funeral for nursing student Laken Riley, killed while on a jog at UGA, taking place today

By Adam Murphy

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    ATLANTA, Georgia (WANF) — On Main Street in downtown Woodstock, there’s a small-town feel and people with big hearts.

But for the past week, this community has been heartbroken.

“It’s an absolute tragedy for the family and I hate it for them,” Woodstock resident Derek Cadwell said.

Sympathies poured in following the devastating death of 22-year-old Laken Riley. She was killed last week while going for a run on the UGA campus. Police said her killer did not know her and was not a U.S. citizen.

“The family should know that there is a lot of people thinking about them and their situation. And we’re all pulling for the family,” Woodstock resident Mark Randall said.

Riley will be laid to rest on Friday afternoon following a celebration of life at Woodstock City Church, where her family gathers to worship.

“My feelings go to the family. It’s very unfortunate, but I’ve lived here for almost 10-years and one of the things I love about Woodstock is that it’s a family-oriented community. And everyone just shows so much support for the community,” Woodstock resident Elisabeth Haagensen said.

And in this town whether they knew Laken Riley or not, there is a peace that surpasses all understanding.

“You don’t even have to know the people personally that were affected by this. People just like to come together and help out any way that they can,” Randall said.

“For anybody that is here to celebrate her life we will welcome them with open arms. I don’t care what it does to traffic. Everybody come and just show up and celebrate her at Woodstock City Church,” Cadwell said.

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