Family Of Slain Augusta University Nursing Student Speaks Out

By Victor Smiroff | Monday, 26 February 2024 05:15 AM
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The family of Laken Riley, a nursing student from Augusta University whose life was tragically cut short on the University of Georgia campus, has broken their silence on the heartrending incident.

A statement released by a family friend expressed their gratitude towards Georgia's law enforcement for their swift and meticulous efforts in apprehending the perpetrator behind their 22-year-old daughter's death.

The family's statement read, "We wish to thank the public for their prayers and thoughts during this tragic time. We thank the University of GA Police Department, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, the Clarke County District Attorney's Office, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their quick response, and diligent effort in the investigation and arrest of those individual(s) responsible for our daughter's death."

The family remembered Laken as an exceptional individual whose devotion to her faith was evident in all aspects of her life. They pledged to honor her memory in a significant way, stating, "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."

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In their time of grief, the family requested the public to respect their privacy. "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," the statement said.

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Riley was discovered with visible injuries in a wooded area behind Lake Herrick at 12:07 p.m. on Thursday. A friend had alerted the authorities after Riley failed to return from a run that morning. Despite immediate attempts to resuscitate her, Riley was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The autopsy results are expected to be released on Monday at the earliest. Meanwhile, Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan national, has been charged with the murder. Ibarra had illegally crossed into El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was subsequently released into the U.S. on parole, according to three ICE & DHS sources who spoke to Fox News.

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