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    The murder of Laken Riley

    Nursing student Laken Riley killed while running at UGA intramural fields. What we know
    {Caitlyn Stroh-Page & Wayne Ford | 23 February 2024}

    A 22-year-old nursing student was found dead at the University of Georgia intramural fields on Thursday afternoon.

    The student, Laken Hope Riley, had gone for a run, according to UGA, and when she didn't return at an expected time, friends called police. UGA police found her body, which had "visible injuries," around 1 p.m.

    Here's what we know about the investigation and victim.

    Who was the woman killed?

    Police identified the victim as Laken Hope Riley, who was a nursing student at Augusta University's Athens campus. She previously was a UGA undergrad.

    Riley, 22, was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

    According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Riley graduated in 2020 from River Ridge High School, where she ran cross country and was a member of the track team.

    ”Our community and our world lost a shining light with the tragic passing of Laken. An outstanding scholar athlete, Laken inspired classmates and teachers with her love of learning and her kindness to all. We ask that the community please keep her family in their hearts,” said Cherokee County School District Superintendent Brian Hightower in a written statement to the AJC.

    Where was the victim found on UGA's campus?

    Riley’s body was discovered before 1 p.m. by a UGA police officer in a wooded area behind Lake Herrick at the intramural fields off College Station Road, according to police. The woods in this area are laced with trails and are a popular place for students and others to walk and jog.

    Riley was at the location to run and when she didn’t return home, a friend called UGA police shortly after noon, according to police.

    Who is alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra?

    UGA police Chief Jeff Clark announced Friday that Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, who resided Athens, is charged with malice and felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another.

    While UGA police noted that Ibarra is not a U.S. citizen, his documentation status was not known.

    He was booked into the Clarke County jail on Friday night.

    Ibarra's brother, Diego Ibarra, was also arrested and booked into the Clarke County jail. Diego Ibarra is being charged with possession of a fraudulent document.

    A heavy law enforcement presence on Friday was at the Cielo at Azulyk apartment complex, located on South Milledge Avenue and adjacent to the backside of the UGA intramural fields. UGA police, Athens-Clarke County police, Georgia Bureau of Investigations agents and Georgia State Patrol were all seen in the area.

    UGA, Augusta University classes cancelled

    Both UGA and Augusta University cancelled classes on Friday after news of the death was made public.

    Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel issued a statement expressing sorrow about Riley's death.

    "The receipt of this news this afternoon was shocking to all of us," said Keel, who also cancelled classes at the campus in Athens. UGA also cancelled classes on Friday.
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 02-29-2024 at 04:13 PM. Reason: article added for context
    “It is not true that all creeds and cultures are equally assimilable in a First World nation born of England, Christianity, and Western civilization. Race, faith, ethnicity and history leave genetic fingerprints no ‘proposition nation’ can erase." -- Pat Buchanan

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