Family shocked to learn man accused of killing teen at Gwinnett County park was her best friend

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A family is in shock after they learned the man police said killed their teenage daughter was her best friend. Tori Lang was killed July 2021, and now police have announced a break in the case.

The killing appears to have happened at Yellow River Park in Gwinnett County.

Police found her body on July 28, 2021 at the park, but they found her burned-out car a few miles away from there. The family said it has been almost a year since her killing, and there were no leads or answers until now.

They got the call to come down to the police station, where they learned that Gwinnett County police had named a suspect in her murder. Police said they have gotten warrants for Austin Ford, 20, from Lithonia. Ford is being held in Clayton County on unrelated charges and will be brought to Gwinnet County to face felony murder and aggravated assault charges.


The family said this is confusing because Ford was Tori’s best friend, and she would do anything for him.

“I would say we’re in very much shock on who they have arrested. This was someone that Tori ‘Kiwi’ considered her best friend. I think, while we’ve been praying, continuously, for a break in a case and praying for justice to be served, we are in shock of who has been arrested,” said Tori’s aunt, Tamara Lang.

During an emotional interview, Channel 2′s Larry Spruill asked the parents, if they could talk to their daughter’s killer, what would they say?

“Why? How could you do this to her? Why? Just why?” said Tori’s mother, Teresa Lang.

The family said they are glad Tori will get justice, but, at present, police have not released a suspected motive.