Veterinarian Among 4 Slain in Kentucky

Dr. Emily Champion, her parents and a fourth person allegedly were killed by her brother.

A Louisiana equine veterinarian, her parents and an acquaintance were shot to death Oct. 26, allegedly by her brother, authorities said.

Auburn University graduate Emily Champion, DVM, who practiced at Baronne Veterinary Clinic in Sunset, La., was slain at her parents’ home in Cadiz, Ky.

Killed along with Dr. Champion, 31, were her parents, Lindsey Champion, 62, and Joy Champion, 60, and Vito Riservato, 22.

Police did not suggest a motive for the crime but said Emily Champion’s brother, Ryan, 36, claimed that he escaped as his friend Riservato killed the others. Ryan Champion was arrested after further investigation and charged with four counts of capital murder and one count of capital kidnapping.

The kidnapping charge was in relation to Emily Champion, but details were not released.

Ryan Champion spoke with media outlets after the slayings and painted himself as an innocent survivor.

“I was able to turn the tables on him,” Champion said of Riservato during an interview with WSMV-TV. “He got close enough to me that I could turn the tables, and that was it. Every minute the entire thing was going on, that’s all I was waiting for. I was waiting for an opportunity.”

Baronne Veterinary Clinic mourned Emily Champion on its Facebook page.

“We are saddened to report the passing of our Dr. Emily Champion,” the entry read. “Her passion and love for her clients [and] horses … is a gift we will cherish forever.”

Auburn, from which Champion graduated in 2008, established an equine scholarship in her memory. Tax-deductible checks made out to the Auburn University Foundation and with the notation “Emily Champion Memorial” may be sent to Auburn University CVM Development, c/o Diana Turner, 104 Greene Hall, Auburn, AL 36849.

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