Georgia Nursing Student Laken Riley’s Death: Suspect Accused of ‘Disfiguring’ Skull, Says Affidavit

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New court documents reveal that Jose Antonio Ibarra is also accused of dragging Laken Riley to a secluded place in order to hide her death.

According to newly added information to the affidavit, the illegal immigrant suspected in Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley’s Athens, Georgia death is accused of “disfiguring her skull”.

According to an affidavit dated Feb. 23, Jose Antonio Ibarra faces charges for felonies including malice murder, murder, and kidnapping. He is also charged with aggravated assaults, aggravated batteries, concealing death, and physically hindering 911 calls. According to the new information that was added this week Ibarra, “did commit an offense of aggravated batter when he maliciously caused bodily harm by seriously disfiguring another’s body or a part thereof by disfiguring their skull.”

The arrest affidavit charges Ibarra with the felony of concealing death. It claims that Ibarra “dragged the victim into a secluded place.”


Students gather in prayer to honor the life and remember Laken Riley.

The police have not revealed the exact cause of death, but only that it was blunt force trauma.

The arrest affidavits submitted to the Athens Clarke County Superior Court did not include more information about what type of weapon was used or how the victim was killed.

Riley’s roommate said that Riley did not return to the early morning run on Thursday.

Below are photos of Laken and Jose Ibarra, and a photo of the UGA crime scene. Jose Ibarra is a University of Georgia murder suspect who lived less than five minutes away from the scene where he is alleged to have murdered Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student on February 22.

The University of Georgia Police found her dead in the woods near the intramural field before 1 pm that afternoon.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed on Sunday that Ibarra was a Venezuelan citizen who entered the U.S. in 2022 illegally and had been previously arrested in New York City.

Ibarra (26 years old) was reported to have crossed illegally into the U.S. near El Paso in Texas in September 2022. He was then paroled and allowed into the U.S.

In a press release, ICE confirmed that he was arrested by Customs and Border Protection on September 8, 2022 after entering near El Paso and “paroled and then released for further treatment.” Ibarra was arrested on September 14, 2023 by the New York Police Department, according to ICE. He was “charged with a motor vehicle violation and acting in a way that would injure a minor under 17.” It corrected its statement on Monday, saying that he had been arrested on August 31, 2023.

ICE stated that Ibarra had been released before a detainer was issued. NYC is a sanctuary city, which means that law enforcement cannot comply with ICE’s detainers.

Athens Clarke County Police Department confirmed that Ibarra was arrested in Georgia just last October. Ibarra had been cited by police for shoplifting on October 27, 2023 in Athens Clarke County. He also had an outstanding bench warrant in the county due to his failure to appear before the court for the shoplifting charges.

Georgia students grieve Laken Riley during vigil. University of Georgia students gather at Tate Plaza to pay tribute on Monday, February 26, 2024.

In a TRUTH Social post, former President Trump called out “Biden’s border invasion”, saying that Riley’s murder should have never happened.

In a letter sent to President Biden by the Republican Georgia Governor last week, Gov. Brian Kemp asked for “an answer to the questions regarding the immigration status and asylum claims made by the brother of the suspect arrested in the murder case of Laken Riley.”

Kemp stated in a press release that “Laken Riley’s tragic death has touched the hearts of Georgians all over and has sparked national anger.” As I’ve said before, every state has become a border state due to Joe Biden’s inaction. Today I demand answers and information from the Biden administration that will help protect our citizens even when the federal government won’t.

Georgia nursing students attend the Laken-Riley vigil. Augusta University and University of Georgia students gathered at Tate Plaza, on the UGA Campus in Athens Georgia, Monday February 26, 2024 to pay tribute to Laken Riley. A nursing student was found dead when she failed to return after a run.

Donarell Green, the Clarke County Magistrate judge, denied Ibarra his bond on Saturday. There were two translators present. Ibarra shook his head when he was spoken to.

Diego Ibarra, Ibarra’s brother, was arrested Friday and charged with possession of a fake green card. He is currently in state custody. Diego Ibarra’s federal arrest affidavit states that Athens Clarke County Police arrested him in September 2023 for drunken driving and driving with no license. Later, he was arrested for shoplifting. He skipped court.

On Monday, the White House responded to Riley’s death.

A spokesperson for the White House said, “We wish to express our sincere condolences to Laken Hope Riley’s family and friends.” If found guilty, people should be punished to the fullest extent possible. We would refer you to ICE and state law enforcement because this is a current case.