Ashes of Woman Slain in S. Africa Returned Home

The ashes of Amy Biehl, the Southern California Fulbright scholar killed last week in South Africa, were brought home Wednesday by her roommate at the University of Western Cape.

Melanie Jacobs arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with her 14-year-old daughter, Solange, and walked into the open arms of Biehl’s parents, Peter and Linda Biehl of Newport Beach.

“We thanked her for bringing our daughter’s ashes, and she said: ‘It’s my duty,’ ” Peter Biehl said.

Amy Biehl was killed Saturday by a mob in the Guguletu township outside Cape Town, two days before she was scheduled to leave South Africa to return home. She had been in the country 10 months, doing her research on South African women’s rights.


A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Friday at the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.

At their emotional airport meeting, the Biehls and Jacobs spent the first few minutes hugging each other.

“It was just a chance for us to embrace, to began to get to know one another and to talk about Amy,” Peter Biehl said afterward.