UGA Nursing Student Murdered by a Non-Citizen

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A suspect was arrested in the murder of a 22-year-old nursing student, Laken Riley, from Augusta University, who police found dead on the University of Georgia campus Thursday.

Laken Riley

The suspect is a non-citizen named Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26. He was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said during a news briefing Friday evening. The suspect is not a U.S. citizen, according to authorities.

She died from blunt force trauma.

It was a crime of opportunity, no motive.

“The evidence is robust,” he told reporters, crediting campus security cameras in part for the arrest.

The Dean’s list student went for a run Thursday morning and never returned. When they found her, she was barely alive and died by the time medical personnel arrived.

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, is believed to be from Venezuela, although his immigration status was not immediately known to investigators, Clark said.

“Right now I don’t know his full status,” Clark said. “He is not a citizen of the United States.”


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