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Augusta’s Morning News

Funeral Services Scheduled for AU-Nursing Student Killed in Athens

Funeral services have been scheduled for Augusta University College of Nursing student Laken Riley, who was murdered Thursday morning on the University of Georgia campus in Athens. The 22-year-old Riley was part of the Augusta University nursing program in Athens, where she was scheduled to graduate next year. Riley was reported missing by a friend Thursday morning when she failed to return after going for a run near the intramural fields on the East Campus.  Her body was found in a wooded area near Lake Herrick nearby hours later. The following day, police arrested 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant who had an apartment not far from the crime scene.  Police said there was no connection between the two, adding that it was a crime of opportunity. Statement from the AU College of Nursing: "Laken, 22, was a class of 2025 BSN student and a promising future nurse.  She received her honorary white coat in Augusta of 2023, symbolizing humanism, compassion, and the start of her nurse's journey.  The College of Nursing will miss Laken's spirit on campus, and our hearts go out to her family and friends.  We know that she would have been a wonderful nurse, and her passing is a loss for the profession and the communities she would have graciously served." Vigil to be Held Monday on UGA Campus The UGA chapters of Alpha Chi Omega, which Riley belonged to, and Kappa Sigma will host a vigil at 3:00 pm Monday at Tate Plaza. Riley's Funeral Services Funeral services for Laken Riley will be held in her hometown of Woodstock, Georgia this Friday, March 1, at Woodstock City Church on Ridgewalk Parkway.  Visitation is from 12:00-2:00 pm, with the funeral following at 2:00 pm. Her obituary says, "Laken was an amazing daughter, sister, friend and overall good 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." GoFundMe Page Created to Assist Riley's Family Riley's family has requested donations instead of flowers and have set up a GoFundMe page.  All proceeds will go to the Laken Hope Riley Foundation, which is being established to bring homicide awareness and safety for women.  Over $102,000 had been raised as of 4:00 pm today, almost three times the original goal of $35,000. [caption id="attachment_159386" align="alignnone" width="720"] Jose Antonio Ibarra[/caption] No Bond for Ibarra Ibarra was denied bond Saturday at an initial hearing.  He has been formerly charged with Murder, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, False Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Hindering a 911 Call, and Concealing the Death of Another.

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