Fundraising Account Triples For Murder Victims Family

Laken Riley was a 22-year-old nursing student at the University of Georgia who was found dead last week in Apalachee National Forest after she failed to return from a long run. The man suspected in her murder is Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old illegal immigrant from Venezuela.

In the wake of her death, a GoFundMe account was set up for her family with an initial goal of $35,000. However, the response from the public has been overwhelming, with over $123,000 raised in just a few days. The beneficiary of the fundraiser is Laken’s stepfather, John Phillips, who has expressed his gratitude for the support and promised to use the funds to start the Laken Hope Riley Foundation, which will focus on raising homicide awareness and promoting safety for women.

Laken was a beloved daughter, sister, and friend, known for her kindheartedness and infectious smile. She was also a member of the AXO Sorority at the University of Georgia, and her sorority sisters are among those mourning her tragic death. She had a passion for caring for others, which extended beyond her goal of becoming a nurse to her work as a nanny for two young children.

According to DHS sources, Ibarra entered the United States illegally from Venezuela in 2022 and was arrested late last year in New York City. He was released due to lack of detention space and reportedly crossed into El Paso, Texas in September of 2023. This heartbreaking incident raises questions about our immigration policies and the safety of our communities.

The local police chief has stated that Laken’s murder appears to be a “crime of opportunity” rather than a planned attack. This is also a call to action for our government to address issues of immigration and public safety.

Laken Riley’s death is a devastating loss for her loved ones and the community. But her memory will live on through the work of the foundation established in her name, which will strive to make a positive impact in the world and prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.