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Wichita State to host forum on safety issues after woman found burned, assaulted in park

Scorched grass marks the area where a woman was set on fire Friday night in Fairmount Park. (Nov. 15, 2014)
Scorched grass marks the area where a woman was set on fire Friday night in Fairmount Park. (Nov. 15, 2014) The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State University officials will host an open forum on safety issues Tuesday to address concerns after the sexual assault and burning of a 36-year-old woman Friday night in Fairmount Park.

“We join the community in being horrified,” WSU vice president for student affairs Wade Robinson said in a news release issued Sunday. “Our concern is for the victim and for the safety and security of the community south of campus, which includes WSU students and employees” as well as residents.

The forum is set for 11:30 a.m. in the WSU Campus Activities Center Theater.

During the forum, Robinson and members of campus and city law enforcement will answer questions and provide an update on the case as well as give campus and off-campus safety information.

When firefighters arrived Friday night, they found the woman on fire with severe burns all over her body and suffering from lacerations on her head. She was found in the park, 1600 N. Gentry, between Hillside and Oliver, about a block south of the WSU campus. The woman was taken to the burn unit at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis in critical condition.

During a Wichita police briefing Sunday, Sgt. Ed Brower said more details about the assault may be released Monday.

Meanwhile, WSU police have increased patrols on university properties south of 17th Street, according to the news release.

People who have information about the crime are encouraged to call 911, Crimestoppers at 316-267-2111 or the Wichita police investigations section at 316-268-4181.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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