BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2015) — The families of two Indiana University students who died last week joined hundreds of their classmates at a campus vigil.
Student organizations worked together to plan the service for Joseph Smedley, 20, and Yaolin Wang, 21.
Smedley disappeared after reportedly sending a text to a family member that he was leaving the country. He was found drowned in a Bloomington lake on Friday and his death remains under investigation.
Wang was killed in a murder-suicide at an off-campus apartment, by a man police say she had been dating.
Both students’ families spoke at the vigil, sending out specific messages to their loved ones’ classmates. Smedley’s sister asked for information in his case and said her family wanted answers.
“I wish I could’ve had more time with him and I just wish I would’ve seen him more often. … I pray that we find justice for whatever happened to him,” Vivian Smedley said.
Wang’s father, who traveled from China, said his daughter, who had recently transferred to IU, loved the campus and he had just visited her two weeks ago. He spoke out about his daughter’s death, encouraging students to seek legal help in cases of abuse and telling them to remember to take care of their own safety first.
“When you are here studying, please be sure to be in contact with your parents and your loved ones, to let them know that you’re safe,” Wang’s father said.
He said IU refunded his daughter’s tuition and he planned to donate it back into a fund in her name.
Smedley’s fraternity brothers were also planning to start a fund in his honor. A public memorial service will be held for him on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lawrence Central High School.