After police announced they believe the body discovered outside an apartment building near Mercer Law School is Lauren Giddings, the Mercer community and friends are speaking out.
Friend Jason Keith says he met Giddings two years ago in a club for runners.
He says they were supposed to go camping this weekend with friends, but he says she suddenly stopped returning phone calls or text messages.
He figured she was studying for the bar exam and didn't want to be disturbed.
Then, he says, he logged on to Facebook and got word of her disappearance.
He says with Gidding's parents living in Maryland, the runners group became an extended family for her in Macon.
"I remember her as very hard-working. Very fun-loving. She plays hard, she works hard. Very smart, very dedicated to who he was becoming and who she stood for."
Mercer University President William Underwood issued this statement:
"Today the Mercer University community joins the family and friends of Lauren Giddings in our support of the determined efforts of law enforcement authorities to investigate the disappearance and apparent death of Lauren, a recent graduate of our law school. I ask that Mercerians everywhere keep Lauren's family and friends in their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult period in their lives."
Mercer University Law School Dean Gary Simson issued this statement:
"Words cannot adequately express the grief and sorrow that the law school community feels in these tragic circumstances. Lauren graduated from the law school this past May after three years in which she distinguished herself in and out of the classroom. Among the student organizations in which she played a vital role were the Federalist Society, where she served as president, and the Association of Women Law Students. She came to Mercer after graduating from Agnes Scott College, where she was the epitome of the student-athlete, excelling in both regards. She demonstrated outstanding character and great promise, and our hearts go out to her family in Laurel, Md., and to her many friends there and elsewhere."