The Murder of Laken Riley: Everything you need to know about the investigation

GEORGIA (WJBF) – The entire country is once again outraged by another senseless murder of a college student.

NEW DETAILS: Court documents shed new details in Laken Riley’s murder

Last Thursday, February 22nd, Augusta University President, Dr. Brooks Keel, informed faculty, staff and students that 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley, an AU student at the College of Nursing campus in Athens, was found dead.

Officers began searching for Laken after receiving a call that she went for a run at the Intramural Fields on the University of Georgia (UGA) Campus and had not returned. She was found in the wooded area behind Lake Herrick. Investigators say she was unconscious, not breathing and had visible injuries. Emergency responders confirmed she was deceased.

Jose Ibarra
Jose Ibarra

Later Thursday evening, a suspect identified as 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra was arrested and charged in Laken’s death.

Authorities say Ibarra is not a U.S. citizen but had an apartment in Athens.

Who is Jose Antonio Ibarra?

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a statement on Ibarra’s background:

Jose Ibarra, a 26-year-old citizen of Venezuela, was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept. 8, 2022, after unlawfully entering the United States near El Paso, Texas. He was paroled and released for further processing. On Sept. 14, 2023, Ibarra was arrested by the New York Police Department and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation. He was released by the NYPD before a detainer could be issued. On Feb. 23, 2024, ERO Atlanta encountered Ibarra pursuant to his arrest by the University of Georgia Police Department and being charged with murder and other crimes. ERO Atlanta lodged a detainer.


Diego Ibarra
Diego Ibarra

On Saturday, February 24th, Jose Antonio Ibarra’s brother was arrested. 29-year-old Diego Ibarra is charged by criminal complaint with possession of a fraudulent document, for allegedly possessing a fraudulent green card. Authorities save not said if he is connected to Laken’s murder.

RELATED ARTICLE: Gov. Kemp speaking at Athens Chamber of Commerce highlighting student murder, border security

Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, released the statement below Sunday, regarding border security in our country.

For more than two years, we’ve demanded action to secure our southern border and answers from the White House about who’s coming into our country.
We’ve yet to get an answer, we’ve yet to see action, and now a tragedy has happened.
We need answers, and we need action, from Joe Biden and the White House NOW.
It’s outrageous we still have no idea who is entering this country illegally and where they’re being released. Americans have a right to this information, and I’m demanding the Biden administration provide it so we don’t lose even more innocent lives like Laken Riley’s.

Gov. Brian Kemp, (R) Georgia

The Governor’s letter to President Joe Biden is below:

Governor Kemp addressed the Athens Chamber of Commerce Monday morning, highlighting Laken Riley’s murder and the border security crisis. He also answered one-on-one questions from members of the media.

The White House issued the following response to Governor Kemp, on Monday:

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Laken Hope Riley. People should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be guilty. Given this is an active case, we would have to refer you to state law enforcement and ICE.”

Laken Hope Riley
Laken Hope Riley

Funeral services for Laken Hope Riley have been announced. The service is set for Friday, March, 1st in her hometown of Woodstock, Ga.

For more information, click here.

A GoFundMe has been started to help the family with funeral expenses. At last check it has raised over $113,000.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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