Laken Riley, 22, Reportedly Killed By Illegal Immigrant While Out For A Run On College Campus

An illegal immigrant allegedly brutally murdered nursing student Laken Riley while on a running trail at the University of Georgia campus.

By Nicole Dominique2 min read

Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University, was murdered on a trail at the University of Georgia campus. Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, is facing murder charges in the death of Riley.

Police say Riley went for a jog and was attacked and killed shortly after 12:30 PM on February 22. The suspect was arrested on Friday in connection with the brutal murder of the student after her body was discovered in a wooded area on the Athens campus. Riley is believed to have died from blunt force trauma. The suspect's motives are currently under investigation.

Ibarra is an illegal immigrant with an alleged criminal history. The suspect entered the U.S. illegally in El Paso, Texas, in 2022 with his wife and son.

According to ICE, the Venezuelan national was charged with child endangerment on August 31, 2023, and had an arrest warrant in Georgia for blowing off a shoplifting court appearance in December. ICE arrested Ibarra in New York last year, but he was released before he could get deported. However, University of Georgia Police Chief Jeff Clark says there was no clear history of violence and that the 26 year old's history was not extensive.

"ICE confirmed yesterday what we already knew: Jose Ibarra was in the country illegally. He was also arrested in New York. What the media hasn’t reported was that he was cited in Athens for shoplifting in Oct — and there was a bench warrant for his arrest for failing to show for court," says State Representative Houston Gaines.

A spokesperson for The Post says Ibarra dodged law enforcement for the first time in 2023 when he was busted in Queens but was released. “He was released by the NYPD before a detainer could be issued,” a spokesman wrote in an email to The Post. “On Feb. 23, 2024, [Enforcement and Removal Operations] Atlanta encountered Ibarra pursuant to him being arrested by the University of Georgia Police Department and charged with murder and other crimes.”

Ibarra's brother, Diego Ibarra, was one of the men questioned in the death of Riley. The U.S. Attorney's Office Middle District of Georgia revealed that Diego had a fake green card and will be prosecuted federally.

"We wish to thank the public for their prayers and thoughts during this tragic time,” Riley's family said in their statement. “Laken was an amazing daughter, sister, friend and overall person in general. Her love for the Lord was exemplified in every aspect of her life. She will be missed every day, but we promise to honor her life moving forward in a very big way."

"During this most difficult time, we ask that you respect our privacy, and provide us the time and space necessary to grieve our daughter’s life that was tragically cut short."

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