Illegal Alien Arrested For Murder On University Of Georgia Campus

In a case that sent shock waves through the state, 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley was brutally murdered Thursday as she went for a jog on the University of Georgia campus. And the suspect should not even be in the country.

University of Georgia Police arrested Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, an illegal migrant from Venezuela, for Riley’s death. Investigators believe that Ibarra, who lived in Athens, did not know the victim and committed a crime of opportunity.

In other words, they believe he had the chance to end the life of an innocent young woman and took it.

Riley was an Augusta University nursing student who was studying on the UGA campus. Her alleged killer is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and other crimes.

The student was reported missing Thursday when her roommate said she did not return from a job. Friends said this was atypical for the young woman.

A search ensued across the campus, and Riley was found “not breathing” with “visible injuries.” She was discovered in a wooded area near Lake Herrick.

Police investigators used the campus security system and witnesses to find the trail to the suspect. The apartment Ibarra apparently lived in was swarmed by investigators collecting evidence.

Law enforcement on Friday set up a mobile command center at Argo Apartments, which are near Lake Herrick. A UGA spokesperson confirmed investigators were talking to a person of interest, and then the arrest was announced.

Three people were initially taken into custody, though it is not clear if Ibarra was one of the three.

A vigil was held on campus Thursday night after the tragic discovery, which took place in an area commonly used by students for jogging. One student told reporters that they now “have to be extra, extra careful and be extra protective, and it’s just super scary.”

UGA officials canceled classes on Friday after Riley’s body was discovered. It was decided to keep the campus open to provide a gathering place for students, faculty and staff.

After the arrest authorities said that there were no indications of an ongoing threat to the student body.

Ibarra was denied bond during a brief Saturday court appearance.