La Crosse native killed in Haiti earthquake - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

La Crosse native killed in Haiti earthquake


DUBUQUE (WKOW) -- Officials at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Iowa have confirmed the death of one of their students in Haiti.

Ben Larson is a La Crosse native and the son of former ELCA Bishop April Larson.

He was one of four Wartburg students in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. He was killed; his wife, cousin and another Wartburg student are all safe and accounted for.

Renee Splichal Larson and Jonathon Larson are expected back in the U.S. sometime this week. They were in the same building as Ben when the quake hit and eventually made it out, but when they returned to the hotel were unable to rescue Ben.

"We pray for Ben, Jon, Renee, Sara, their parents and families, and wide, wide circle of friends, as we pray for the innumerable many in Haiti who suffer at this time," said Duane Larson, seminary president, in an e-mail last night.  "Above all, we trust in God, who laid the foundations of the Earth, who is on our side, though the seas roar and mountains tremble."

Current Bishop Jim Arends says Larson's parents are currently living in Duluth.  There is a prayer service scheduled in Duluth this evening that he's attending.

Wartburg officials are scheduled to speak at 2:00 p.m. Thursday; you can watch that news conference live online here on our web channel

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