The niece of Rep. Brad Wenstrup was among the people killed in a crowd surge in Seoul over the weekend, the Ohio Republican said in a statement on October 31st.
“Monica and I, and our entire family, are grieving the loss of our niece Anne Marie Gieske. She was a gift from God to our family. We loved her so much,” Wenstrup said in the statement.
Wenstrup also issued the following statement on behalf of her parents, Dan and Madonna Gieske:
“We are completely devastated and heartbroken over the loss of Anne Marie. She was a bright light loved by all. We ask for your prayers but also the respect of our privacy. Anne’s final gift to us was dying in the state of sanctifying grace. We know we will one day be reunited with her in God’s kingdom,” they said in the statement provided by Wenstrup’s office.
According to a statement from the university’s president, Gieske was a nursing student at the University of Kentucky and had been studying abroad in Seoul this semester.
The statement said, “We have been in contact with Anne’s family and will provide whatever support we can — now and in the days ahead — as they cope with this indescribable loss. We will be there for those in our community who knew and loved Anne. We also have nearly 80 students from South Korea at the University of Kentucky — members of our community — who will need our support.”
Authorities in South Korea are investigating the crowd surge that killed over 150 partygoers in Seoul. At least 26 foreign nationals, including two Americans, were killed. More than a dozen embassies worldwide have confirmed victims from their respective nations.
South Korea has initiated a week-long period of mourning as officials try to figure out what caused the tragic crush.