(BOSTON) — Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu was the pride of her parents in China, but they are now engulfed in grief as she is identified as the latest victim of the Boston marathon bomber.
Lu, 23, was a mathematics and statistics student from China in the graduate class of 2015. Lu’s parents described the death of their only child as a “dagger in our hearts.”
The terrorist attack at the marathon killed three people and injured more than 170.
Speaking through sobs, Lu’s father told ABC News in a telephone interview Wednesday from his home in northeast China, “This is an extremely painful time for our family.”
He said the family has declined several interview requests because, “Every time we speak about this, it is like a dagger in our hearts.”
Lu’s father said he is in the process of obtaining a visa so he can travel to the United States to claim his daughter’s body. She was the only child in a family that adhered to China’s one-child policy, he said.
The U.S. Embassy in China said she was from Shenyang.
Lu reportedly attended Northeast Yucai School, considered one of the best high schools in Shenyang. The headmaster of the high school told Chinese media, “We are in shock.”
Her family lives in one of the most developed and largest cities in China. Lu’s father is a soft-spoken but articulate man. Like many Chinese families, Lu’s success in securing a spot at a university in the United States was a source of great pride for her parents and grandparents, her father said.
The student is said to have won academic scholarships to her prestigious high school and college. Her family supported her, as many Chinese families do, by saving every extra bit it could to go toward her education and experience in Boston, according to the Shenyang Evening News.
Meanwhile, hundreds of mourners held a vigil Tuesday night for Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the attack. Friends, neighbors and even those who didn’t know Richard’s family gathered at Garvey Park Tuesday night, each holding a candle in a cup and a U.S. flag. Martin, 8, had an ice cream in his hand and was watching the marathon with his family when the twin bombs exploded.
Krystle Campbell, 29, was identified Tuesday as the other fatality in the attack. Campbell’s parents, William Campbell Jr. and Patty Campbell, at first thought their daughter’s friend had been killed, but later learned that it was their daughter who was the victim, according to ABC News’ Boston affiliate, WCVB. The parents discovered their daughter was the one who had died when they were finally allowed to see the patient who had survived.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN