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Community reeling after news of golfer's death

May 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
People in Corona are still in shock after the news that 25-year-old LPGA star Erica Blasberg was found dead Sunday. Blasberg grew up and went to high school in the Inland Empire city. Not only are people in the community still grieving, but they are still looking for answers."I haven't seen her for many years, but I can't imagine anything like this happening to her, its unfathomable to me," said Brandon Smith, Blasberg's high school golf coach.

Smith said he couldn't believe it when he heard the golfer's body was found at about 3 p.m. Sunday at her home in Henderson, Neveda. Blasberg's agent said the golfer had her bags packed for a tournament in Alabama when she died.

"I was absolutely shocked. I try to follow her weekly on her web site, through the LPGA web site and I noticed she played a few weeks ago, but I hadn't seen anything before or after. As busy as I am with teaching my kids, I didn't think anything," said Smith.

Nevada and police aren't saying whether they suspect foul play and are only saying that they are investigating a death. Coroner officials said they are awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death. The tests could take four to six weeks to complete.

There was some initial thought that Blasberg might have taken her own life, but her family said police have given no indication that was the case. Smith doesn't know what to think.

"I have no Idea. I'm like everyone else right now, reading, trying to find answers. Trying to get closure," said Smith.

Smith says he still remembers coaching Blasberg. She was the only girl on the all boys team. Smith said she would consistently beat all her teammates.

"Her competitive spirit, her willingness to practice, to be better than everybody else," said Smith. "But on top of that, outside the course, she was so friendly, everybody loved her, loved having her around. She didn't act like this great golfer, she just acted like a normal kid."

As for Blasberg's parents, they're still in Nevada, trying to get answers from police.

"I don't know how I'm going to make it until tomorrow," said Blasberg's mother Debbie. "I can't explain it, it's indescribable."

A memorial service will be held for Erica Blasberg on May 19 at 11 a.m. in Corona, Calif., at the Eagle Glen Golf Club, located at 1800 Eagle Glen Parkway.


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