Laken Riley’s Mother Condemns ‘Avoidable’ Murder Of Her Daughter

Laken Riley was brutally murdered on the University of Georgia campus allegedly by a man who should not have been in the country, and her grieving mother is speaking out. Her daughter’s funeral was held Friday in Woodstock, Georgia.

Allyson Phillips called Laken’s shocking death an “avoidable tragedy.” At the same time, her public message praised God for bringing her family together during this time of unimaginable grief.

Phillips wrote in her Facebook post, “As I sat down to write this message, I really just have no words. My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss that anyone could ever be force[d] to endure.”

She then credited her faith for being able to make it through “this heartbreaking time.” Phillips said it would be easy to “lose our faith in mankind” due to this “horrific nightmare” that did not have to happen.

Phillips went on to give thanks for the outpouring of support her family has received. “We appreciate all of the time, effort and prayers that our family, friends and community have showered us with to help ease our pain.”

The simple truth is, this is pain that never should have been felt.

Affidavits charged 26-year-old Venezuelan migrant Jose Antonio Ibarra with allegedly striking Riley so hard that he disfigured her skull. The suspect is not thought to have known the 22-year-old when investigators believe he attacked her as she went for a campus jog.

Charging documents did not identify the blunt force weapon Riley was struck with, but they accused Ibarra of causing “great bodily harm with an object.”

Besides facing murder charges, Fox News reported that Ibarra is charged with aggravated battery for “seriously disfiguring her body.” He is also charged with preventing Riley “from making or completing a 911 call.”

Her roommate called authorities when she unexpectedly did not return from a campus run. A frantic search ensued, and her battered body was found in a wooded area near a lake popular with students.

Ibarra reportedly had at least two encounters with law enforcement and could have been deported after an incident in New York City. He lived there before moving to Athens to be with his brother.

Athens-Clarke County District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez is appointing a special prosecutor to handle the case.

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