Georgia nursing student Laken Riley's cause of death revealed days after murder - Hindustan Times
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Laken Riley murder: Cause of death revealed days after Georgia nursing student's death

BySumanti Sen
Feb 26, 2024 08:09 AM IST

Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley, 22, was found dead near a lake on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens

Days after Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley, 22, was found dead near a lake on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens, her cause of death has been revealed. Riley, a nursing student at Augusta University,  died from "blunt force trauma," according to official police reports.

This undated image provided by Augusta University shows Laken Hope Riley (Augusta University via AP)(AP)
This undated image provided by Augusta University shows Laken Hope Riley (Augusta University via AP)(AP)

Riley was found to have “visible injuries,” according to UGA Police Chief Jeff Clark. Her body was found after a friend reported that she went for a run and failed to return.

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Days after her death, police took into custody 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant. Ibarra was arrested on Friday, February 23, and charged with malice and felony murder, aggravated battery, kidnapping, concealing the death of another and other charges. Police said the incident was a “crime of opportunity.” According to Clark, Ibarra does not have an “extensive” criminal history. 

The loop Riley went to run is easily accessible from behind Ibarra’s apartment complex. The scene where Riley was found dead is about a five-minute walk from Ibarra’s door.

UGA’s statement

UGA later said in a news release "there is no higher priority for [the] campus than the safety and security of all who live and work here." "We have put in place comprehensive measures to protect our students, faculty, staff, and guests — including $16 million invested over the last eight years to hire more police officers, install more security cameras, enhance lighting, establish a nightly rideshare program, and create a UGASafe app," the school said according to Fox News. 

"But we are committed to doing even more. Earlier this week, we approved an additional phase of lighting improvements and security camera installations, and we will continue to evaluate our safety programs for further enhancements. This is an ongoing and exhaustive effort," it added.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe launched for Riley has raised a whopping $81,432 USD in just a day, much more than the $35,000 goal that has been set.

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