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Prescott Solemnly Absorbs News of Kayla Mueller’s Death

Ryan Heinsius

The confirmation yesterday of humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller’s death shocked the world. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the epicenter of that grief is in Mueller’s hometown of Prescott.

A somber mood prevailed in Prescott following the announcement that one of their own was, in fact, dead. As throngs of reporters awaited a statement by Mueller’s family, a handful of Prescott locals gathered in Courthouse Square, to take in the news.

Lisa Sandberg is a longtime Prescott resident and former English teacher. She says her daughter knew Mueller in high school.

“This is a private loss for the family even though it’s national news. It’s their daughter. It’s devastating, tragic. I think people are waiting to see what the family would like Prescott to do. I think there’s a lot of respect for the family and their privacy,” Sandberg says.

Sandberg says Mueller’s humanitarian work throughout the world reflects the selflessness of the tightly knit Prescott community.

“We have some great young people as is evidenced by Kayla. She’s the best and she’s an inspiration to us all and I’m sure other people will be inspired by her to go out and continue her great work,” Sandberg says.

On Courthouse Square yesterday, two of Mueller’s aunts along with a friend and a family minister paid tribute to her life. They spoke of Mueller’s tireless work for others and her devotion to world peace.

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