Venezuelan illegal immigrant arrested for murder of Georgia nursing student

The 26-year-old man entered the country through El Paso, Texas, in 2022. He was taken to a processing center and released. He has been charged with felony murder (among other charges) for the tragic death of 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley.

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was charged with the murder of a 22-year-old nursing student from Georgia. Multiple ICE and DHS sources told Fox the man is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who crossed the southern border at El Paso, Texas in September 2022, and was released on parole.

Ibarra was arrested by the University of Georgia (UGA) police on Friday night. UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said during a press conference that he was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another person.

Ibarra appeared in court Saturday morning. There, he was denied bond by Clarke County Judge Donarell Green. Meanwhile, police are investigating Riley's death as a homicide.

Death of Laken Hope Riley and Ibarra's brother

Riley was a nursing student. The young woman was found unconscious in a wooded area. Her friends had reported that she had not returned home from a run. According to police, she had serious and "visible" injuries. Upon finding her body, officers attempted to revive her using CPR and a defibrillator but she was already dead.

The defendant's brother was also charged with possessing and presenting a forged green card. Diego Ibarra (29) is being held in state custody and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Since entering the country, he has been arrested three times.