Laken Riley's family releases statement after her murder: ‘Amazing daughter' - Hindustan Times
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Laken Riley's family releases statement days after her murder: ‘Amazing daughter, sister, friend’

BySumanti Sen
Feb 26, 2024 08:54 AM IST

The nursing student at Augusta University died from “blunt force trauma”

The family of slain Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley have released a statement honouring her memory. The 22-year-old was found dead near a lake on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens. The nursing student at Augusta University died from "blunt force trauma.” Police later took into custody 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant.

The murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley, 22, has sent shockwaves across the US (GoFundMe)
The murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Hope Riley, 22, has sent shockwaves across the US (GoFundMe)

Laken Riley’s family’s statement

“We wish to thank the public for their prayers and thoughts during this tragic time,” the family’s statement read. “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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“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 added.

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.

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.

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