Friends and family were mourning the death of St. Louis University volleyball player Megan Boken as police search for her killer after the 23-year-old Illinois woman was shot to death Saturday before an alumni game in St. Louis.
Boken, 23, graduated from St. Louis University in 2011 and returned to St. Louis to participate in the game when she was shot and killed outside an apartment complex in the city's Central West End neighborhood, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Boken is a native of Wheaton, Ill., and most recently lived outside Chicago, the paper reported.
There have been no arrests in Boken's murder as of Monday morning, but surveillance video by the intersection where the former volleyball player was killed had detectives optimistic that it will yield clues in the murder.
Authorities do have a suspect that they're looking for who has been described by witnesses as a black man in his 20s between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, Fox News reported.
According to witnesses, the suspect either got out of Boken's Volkswagen or opened the door to the car when an argument ensued. The man then fired two shots into the car, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Boken's family said in a statement to the Post-Dispatch that authorities do not believe Boken knew her murderer.
"Megan was a wonderful and beautiful human being loved by everyone she met," the Boken family said in the e-mail, according to the paper. "The initial reports that Megan knew her attacker are no longer believed to be true. The family asks that you keep Megan and them in your thoughts and prayers and respect their privacy at this time."
Boken's father said volleyball played a big role in his daughter's life.
"Megan was all about SLU volleyball," he told KSDK. "It was everything to her she was coming back to play with her friends, these people are very special to her."
The initial speculation that Boken may have known her killer came from Kara Bowlin, press secretary for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, according to the Post-Dispatch. Bowlin clarified the tweet and said her comments were premature.
In a statement, Boken's family called her "a wonderful and beautiful human being loved by everyone she met.
"The family and the community are devastated by this senseless tragedy and the family would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support," they said, according to Fox News.
Boken's former coach and teammates remembered the 23-year-old more for her personality than her athletic achievements.
"There's just not anybody that played SLU volleyball during my 7 years that isn't reeling right now," said her coach, Anne Kordes.
"She'll be remembered as an unbelievable teammate. She played on championship teams, but she was that teammate that kept everybody together," said St. Louis University Athletic Director Chris May. "She's everything you want in a student athlete: wonderful student, a great athlete and an even better person."
Boken's friend, Sarah Entzeroth, described the former volleyball player as "sweet, social and funny," according to KSDK.
"None of our lives will ever be the same," Entzeroth said. "She was my best friend and she is one of the greatest people I've ever met ... She was at my apartment staying with me this weekend and we walked to our separate cars and at 2 o'clock and we will never see her again."
Authorities asked anyone with information on Boken's killing to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.