Biden responds to Laken Riley murder on UGA campus: ‘People should be held accountable’

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President Biden on Monday shared a statement regarding the murder of Augusta University student Laken Riley on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Laken Hope Riley,” a White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “People should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be guilty. Given this is an active case, we would have to refer you to state law enforcement and ICE.”

UGA Police Chief Jeffrey Clark on Feb. 23 announced the arrest of Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old illegal immigrant from Venezuela, who is accused of murdering Riley on UGA’s campus while she was out for a Thursday morning jog.

Clark said during a Friday evening press conference that Riley died of blunt force trauma.

LAKEN RILEY MURDER SUSPECT JOSE IBARRA LIVED WITHIN 5-MINUTE WALK OF UGA CRIME SCENE

President Biden on Monday responded to the Thursday murder of Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley on UGA’s campus.

Earlier, Biden said the country’s laws and resources “haven’t kept up with our immigration system.”

“It’s broken, and our politics has failed to fix it,” the president said. “To my Republican friends on the hill: Doing nothing is not an option. Compromise is part of the process.”

GEORGIA MURDER SUSPECT CONFIRMED TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Jose Antonio Ibarra Mugshot

Jose Ibarra, who was originally taken into custody on Friday by the UGA Police Department in connection with Riley’s death, is now not believed to have had a connection to the victim. (Clarke County Sheriff’s Office)

Fox News Digital previously reported that Ibarra illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico in El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was paroled into the United States. 

He then traveled to New York City, where he temporarily lived with his wife, and then came to Athens, where he lived for about six months on the southern border of UGA’s campus, according to neighbors.

LAKEN RILEY MURDER SUSPECT’S BROTHER FIRED FROM UGA AFTER PRESENTING FAKE PASSPORT

Venezuelan migrant wife of suspected killer of Laken Riley, Jose Ibarra is seen in a red sweater in Queens

Layling Franco walks outside a migrant shelter in Queens, New York City on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Franco is the wife of Jose Antonio Ibarra, who was arrested in Georgia on suspicion of killing 22-year-old university student Laken Riley. (Brigitte Stelzer)

Ibarra is now facing charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another.

His older brother, Diego Ibarra, who is charged with green card fraud, was briefly hired by UGA as a dishwasher in one of the school’s dining halls after he presented fake documentation. He has since been fired.

GEORGIA NURSING STUDENT FOUND DEAD ON UGA CAMPUS IDENTIFIED AS LAKEN RILEY

Chief Jeffrey L. Clark

Police have charged Jose Antonio Ibarra with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said. (Fox News Digital)

In a statement to Fox News Digital, ICE confirmed Jose Antonio Ibarra had been encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept. 8, 2022. ICE also confirmed that he had been arrested by the New York Police Department a year later, on Sept. 14, 2023, and “charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation.”

BROTHER OF UGA MURDER SUSPECT CHARGED WITH GREEN CARD FRAUD

Laken Riley in a medical coat in a grassy field

Laken Riley poses for a photo posted to Facebook. Riley, a nursing student, was found dead on the University of Georgia campus on Thursday, February 22, 2024. (Allyson Phillips/Facebook)

Riley’s family posted a statement on Saturday, describing the 22-year-old as “an amazing daughter, sister, friend and overall person.”

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“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,” the statement shared with WXIA read, in part. “During this most difficult time, we ask that you respect our privacy, and provide us the time and space necessary to grieve our daughter’s life that was tragically cut short.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Michael Ruiz and Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 

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