Friends remember Lindsay Nichols, urge caution with social media - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friends remember Lindsay Nichols, urge caution with social media


The investigation continues into the shooting death of two people in Jesup.  Authorities say two people died in the shooting but aren't releasing any other details.

Friends say 22-year-old Lindsay Nichols is the victim.  An ex-boyfriend allegedly followed her home, shot her in the driveway, then turned the gun on himself.

This tragedy has shaken many in the small community of Jesup and a close-knit circle of Lindsay Nichols' friends.  Nichols was an honors student and 2008 graduate of Waterloo East High School.

Thursday night, friends and family of Lindsay Nichols will gather just outside East High for a candlelight vigil.  People who knew and loved Lindsay are devastated and hope that there are lessons to learn from her tragic death.

"We love you Lindsay and we'll miss you," said friend Courtney Dettmer.

Facebook messages honoring 22-year-old Lindsay Nichols are piling up.  Friends say Nichols lived life with joy, and had no regrets.

"We're never going to forget her, ever.  We'll never forget her personality, her face, her attitude towards life, ever.  She was just an awesome person," said friend Kylie Smedley.

Looking back, Nichols' friends say there may have been warning signs that Lindsay was in danger.

Just last month, Lindsay's Facebook page detailed a troubled split with her boyfriend, and indicated he was contacting her friends, trying to keep tabs on her, which she posted was "an invasion of privacy, and needs to stop."

Later that same day, February 3, Lindsay wrote, "I really don't think I should ever feel unsafe because I feel as if I'm being watched."

Friends responded with everything from…"Sounds crazy stalkerish" to urging her to "block him on Facebook or get a restraining order" to one poster joking that she should get a bodyguard. 

Then, the very day Lindsay Nichols was killed, she changed her relationship status on Facebook, revealing she was seeing someone new.

In spite of it all, Lindsay's friends say her death likely could not have been prevented.  But they have a warning for anyone who uses social media.

"Girls, especially... If you or your friend has an issue with someone online, someone you know, someone you meet off the street, if you've got an issue with them, you don't feel safe -- tell someone.  Tell your parents.  Get restraining orders if necessary or go to the police.  Because no one should have to go through what we're going through," Dettmer said.

Nichols' friends say this tragedy also serves as a reminder.

"Tomorrow's not guaranteed... Don't take anybody for granted.  And value your friendships and family as much as you can," friend Kelsey Summers said.

Thursday night will be all about honoring Lindsay, celebrating the person she was, the life she led, and together amongst friends, attempting to heal.  The candlelight vigil at East High runs from 7-9 p.m.

So far, no word on funeral arrangements for Lindsay Nichols.

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