Community upset over Eve Carson memorial

July 28, 2008 7:58:17 AM PDT
When 40 volunteers endured the pouring rain and mud to plant a tree in honor of murdered UNC student Eve Carson, they thought their work was done.

But, the Overcup oak they planted behind Carson's high school in Athens, Georgia will likely have to be removed after concrete was poured over the tree to make way for a new sidewalk. The mishap has sparked outrage in Carson's hometown.

"I've received several calls, " Liz Conroy, a landscaper and parent volunteer told Eyewitness News. "There's a combination of anger to heartbreak. One person wept."

Conroy said most people understand it was an honest mistake that must be fixed. Tree experts who've inspected the memorial tree say it must be removed to save it.

Carson's friends and family said they selected the Overcup oak in an effort to keep Carson's memory alive. The tree typically grows over several decades.

Conroy and another local environmentalist have asked the school board to grant them permission to replant the memorial tree. They're also asking the board to consider adopting a policy to protect future trees planted on school property. The school board has yet to respond to their proposal.

Conroy remains optimistic.

"Eve was always looking ahead and always wanted people to work with people,"she said. "For her, it would be good to see some good to come out of this. "

Investigators believe Carson was taken near her Chapel Hill home on the morning of March 5. Laurence Lovette, Junior, 17, and Demario Atwater,22, are facing several charges, including first degree murder, robbery and kidnapping. Atwater will learn next month whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty, if he's convicted.

A recently released autopsy report revealed the student body president was shot five times. At least one document-- a letter related to the investigation-- remains sealed. Authorities are expected to release it to the public this week.


Load Comments