Recent grad killed at Chilean school

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (BP) -- Memorial services for Erica Faith Hagan, who was apparently murdered Sept. 6 while serving as a teaching assistant at a Baptist school in Chile, have been held at two Kentucky Baptist churches -- Sept. 27 at Hardin Baptist in Hardin and Sept. 25 at Heritage Baptist in Owensboro.

Hagan, 22, was killed in the southern Chilean city of Temuco. A May 2014 college graduate, she had arrived in Chile to serve as a teaching assistant at the Colegio Bautista, a Baptist elementary and secondary school of 800 students founded in the 1920s with the help of Southern Baptists.

According to the Western Recorder, newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Chilean authorities arrested a security guard at the college Sept. 13 in connection with Hagan's death in her on-campus apartment where she had been struck by an object several times.

Hagan was a psychology graduate of Georgetown (Ky.) College with a Spanish minor who had worked at the local Chick-fil-A restaurant. She intended to return in December to pursue graduate school, the Recorder reported. Hagan had been a member of Hardin Baptist Church since 2010.

Hagan previously spent three weeks in Chile on a mission trip in 2011, the Recorder reported.

Hagan's father, Chris Hagan, posted a thank you to her friends on her Facebook page on Sunday, Sept. 7.

"To all of Erica's friends, this is Erica's father. Due to the number of friends my daughter has I feel I need to let all of you know that Erica passed away yesterday," Chris Hagan wrote. "Each of you made an impact on her life or you would not have been on her friends list. Remember the joyous times you had with my daughter. I would like to thank each of you individually for making her the beautiful well rounded person she was but I cannot so I will do it to all of you in this post.

"Thank you from her sisters, mother, brother, grandparents and the rest of our family as well as myself for being in her life and making her the special person she became," Hagan wrote.

Erica Hagan had "a contagious personality that made her loved by everyone," Kory Cunningham, associate pastor of Hardin Baptist Church, told the Recorder. "She did not see differences in people, but instead made friends with everyone."

Her friends and family remember Hagan as a vibrant and adventurous young woman who was strong in her love for Christ, the Recorder reported. Her infectious laugh and elegant demeanor were combined with a heart to serve others. She enjoyed working with kids, meeting new people, playing the clarinet, and she had donated her hair to Locks of Love. She was the 2010 valedictorian at Calloway High School in Murray, Ky.

Georgetown College has had an ongoing relationship with Colegio Bautista of Temuco. Despite Hagan's death, the college will continue to partner with schools overseas, campus minister Bryan Langlands told the Recorder.

"Every precaution is taken to assure the safety of students who study abroad. Our students have been involved in international study and mission work without incident for many years," Langlands said. "We do not expect students with a desire to experience other cultures and overseas study to be deterred. But we will always be mindful of their safety and advise them accordingly."

The college was offering walk-in sessions for students and others who had known Hagan and wanted to talk or pray, a college spokesman told the local newspaper.

Compiled by Baptist Press staff.
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