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Memorial honors U of U student on the first anniversary of his death

SALT LAKE CITY – Today’s a somber anniversary for many students at the University of Utah as they reflect on the life of a popular international student who was killed in a carjacking one year ago, today.

Pictures of Chenwei Guo lined the wall of the top floor the Union Building, next to the International Student and Scholar Services Office.  People who knew him gathered in the hall to console each other and share memories of their friend.

“He was a point of light.  He always had a smile and very well-connected in the community, both on campus and in the broader community,” according to ISSS Director Chalimar Swain.

Her office organized the memorial and she says it was important for students who are still having a hard time dealing with Guo’s death.

“For the folks who knew him, this is a tough anniversary.  We miss him, still,” Swain said.

Swain says she’s been in constant contact with Guo’s family, and they’re dealing with his death as best as they can.

“I’m a parent and I can’t imagine losing your child in this way,” she adds.

This anniversary is especially hard for Swain since it happened so shortly after the murder of U of U track star Lauren McCluskey.  She says McCluskey’s death triggered a lot of sad memories of the death of their friend.

Swain says, “It’s certainly hard because those circumstances bring up, I think, some difficult memories for those of us who were involved last year.”

Chenwei Guo’s killer, Austin Boutain, took a plea deal and asked for forgiveness for what he had done.  He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.