Family Responds After Brutal Slaying Of College Student

The family of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley expressed their thanks to law enforcement for the swift arrest of her killer, 11 Alive reported.

Jose Antonio Ibarra was apprehended on Friday, February 23 in connection to the brutal slaying of 22-year-old Laken Riley. He was charged with multiple counts, including malice murder, felony murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery.

In a February 24 statement released by a family friend, Riley’s family said that every aspect of Riley’s life exemplified her love of God and they vowed to honor her memory “moving forward.”

The family asked for space and privacy to grieve the loss of their daughter’s life.

Laken Riley went out for a morning jog on Thursday, February 22. After she didn’t return, a friend contacted law enforcement who later discovered her badly beaten body in the woods near the Athens campus of the University of Georgia.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed on February 25 that Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan national, was in the country illegally.

According to ICE, Ibarra was apprehended by Border Patrol after he illegally crossed the US border near El Paso, Texas on September 8, 2022. Ibarra was later released pending processing.

Ibarra landed on ICE’s radar in September after the NYPD arrested him. However, Ibarra was released before ICE could issue a detainer against him.

After Ibarra’s arrest on February 23, the Department of Justice announced that his brother Diego Ibarra had been charged with possession of a fake green card.

Following Ibarra’s arrest in Athens, the US Justice Department announced that it had charged his brother Diego Ibarra with possession of a fraudulent green card.

During the search for Laken Riley’s murderer, an Athens police officer stopped Diego Ibarra for questioning as he matched the description of the suspect. When the officer requested to see identification, Diego presented a fraudulent green card, according to officials from the Department of Homeland Security.

Jose Ibarra was arraigned on Saturday where he was denied bond.