Former Classmate Reacts to Bettina Burklund's Murder

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Things are pretty much back to normal on Meredeth Street for people who live there, but there's still many questions as to what all happened.

Lincoln police say an argument let up to Bettina Burkland's death on Sunday, but investigators won't officially know until after an autopsy.

Officers arrested 41-year-old Kent Burklund Monday for second degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Burklund is scheduled to be in court Wednesday afternoon.

A knife was found next to her body when officers found her Monday afternoon.

Lancaster County deputies found Kent Burklund at Conestoga Lake a few hours later.

10/11 sat down with one of Bettina's high school classmates who can't believe this happened just blocks away from her house.

"We all graduated together. I was surprised that I knew one person, much less had graduated with both of them," said former classmate Lara Eslick.

Eslick lives just a few streets away from the house the Burklunds lived in.

"I couldn't believe that first of all she lived that close to me and I didn't know and that it was someone we knew," said Eslick.

She describes Bettina as a friendly woman with no enemies.

"You would be hard-pressed to find anybody from the graduating class that didn't know of her and I don't think you can find anybody who can say anything bad about her," said Eslick.

Bettina worked at the NU foundation, 10/11 reached out for an on-camera interview but they declined but say Bettina worked there for seven years as a project manager.

When she didn't show up for work on Monday they called her cellphone a couple time, then after no response they called police.

Eslick says she doesn't remember Kent Burklund much at all and says he wasn't involved in a lot of school activities.

"I know a lot of people who knew him and they are all blown away. They are like something had to go wrong, this isn't something he would just do, something happened," said Eslick.

Bettina and her twin sister are just a page away from Kent in the '91 yearbook. Eslick says Bettina and Kent weren't dating in high school and former classmates can't believe this is the way it ended for Bettina.

"Totally unfortunate you know and the big question for everybody now is what happened," said Eslick.

There is a memorial fund for Bettina Baker Burklund at Liberty First Credit Union.

Account # 16032743. For those who want to create an ACH transfer, the routing # is 304982468.


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