The mysterious shooting deaths — a day apart — of two college students from Georgia have left two campuses shaken and detectives in three states searching for clues on Friday, though sources have told FOX News that an arrest may be imminent in one of the killings.
Police in Auburn, Ala., said Thursday afternoon they are pursuing promising leads as they try to identify who killed 18-year-old Auburn University freshman Lauren A. Burk of Marietta on Tuesday night near campus.
Local reporters told FOX News' Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening that authorities are said to be close to an arrest, though no suspects have been named.
WBRC-TV's Dave Bondy told Van Susteren that Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones had said investigators are investigating the possibility Burk knew her attacker, but the sheriff wouldn't say whether police had confirmed that detail.
Meanwhile, officials at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill said town police still had no suspects in the shooting murder of 22-year-old Eve Marie Carson, the popular president of UNC's student body.
Police Chief Brian Curran said her death appeared to be a random act, and police don't know what she was doing in the upscale residential area where her body was found Wednesday. Her car turned up about a mile away on Thursday.
The medical examiner said there is no indication Carson was sexually assaulted, and University Chancellor James Moeser said there was nothing to link Carson's slaying to anyone on campus.
She was last seen about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when she stayed home while her roommates went out. Officers found the body of a young woman who turned out to be Carson about a mile from campus after neighbors reported hearing shots around 5 a.m.
"My information is she was an extraordinarily busy woman and it wasn't unusual for her to go to the office in the middle of the night," Police Chief Brian Curran said. "But we don't know that's what she was doing."
He told The News & Observer of Raleigh that police believe the killer was in Carson's car at some point. Officers found the blue 2005 Toyota Highlander after receiving a tip from a witness who spotted it near the main drag though the college town about 45 minutes west of Raleigh.
Auburn police said Thursday that they hadn't turned up any evidence linking the two killings but were checking before ruling it out.
"I don't have anything at this point to indicate that this is related," Auburn Assistant Chief of Police Tom Dawson said at a news conference. "I've had my investigators contact authorities there (Chapel Hill), but there's nothing to connect the two cases."
Detectives had several strong leads in Burk's murder and have established a state and federal task force to aid the investigation, Dawson said.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Local media have reported that police are interviewing witnesses to the crime, as well as a few "persons of interest."
Burk was found with a single gunshot wound to the head around 9 p.m. Tuesday on Alabama Highway 147, three miles off campus. Police said her Honda Civic was discovered 20 minutes later engulfed in flames at the campus.
Burk was taken to the hospital, where she died Tuesday night.
Dawson would not say if Burk was able to give authorities any information before she died. He also would not say if there was a surveillance camera in the campus parking lot that might be of help to investigators.
A campus-wide memorial service for Burk is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Auburn University.
Auburn sophomores Darious "Slim" Merchant, 20, and Charles Daniels, 19, said they had not seen much change in the atmosphere on campus, although they have noticed more female students riding shuttle buses at night instead of walking.
"That makes sense," Merchant said.
Carson, of Athens, Ga., died from multiple bullet wounds, including one to the head. After responding to reports of gunfire, police discovered Carson lying dead in an intersection in a Chapel Hill residential neighborhood close to the university.
Town authorities and school officials identified her body on Thursday. Police had no suspects and hadn't made any arrests. They found her car later in the day.
The communities of Marietta and Athens are about 70 miles apart.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.