New information added to charging documents say Jose Antonio Ibarra is accused of "disfiguring" Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley's skull.

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The illegal immigrant suspect charged in Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley’s death in Athens, Georgia, is accused of “disfiguring” her skull, according to new information added to the affidavit. 

Jose Antonio Ibarra is charged with the felonies of malice murder, murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another, as well as the misdemeanor of physically hindering a 911 call, according to the affidavit filed on Feb. 23. According to new information added this week, Ibarra “did commit the offense of aggravated battery when he maliciously causes bodily harm to another by seriously disfiguring her body or a member thereof by disfiguring her skull.”

For the felony offense of concealing the death of another, the arrest affidavit accuses Ibarra of “dragging the victim to a secluded area.” 

Law enforcement have not yet disclosed exactly how Riley was killed, only that her death was caused by blunt force trauma. 



More information about the type of object used or exactly how she was killed was not included in the arrest affidavits filed in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court. 

Riley’s roommate reported she did not return for an early morning run Thursday. 

A photo of the UGA crime scene below photos of Laken Riley and suspect Jose Ibarra

University of Georgia murder suspect Jose Ibarra lived within a five-minute walk of the approximate scene where he allegedly murdered 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley on Feb. 22. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital/ Laken Riley/ Jose Ibarra)

University of Georgia police found her body in the woods along a trail by the intramural fields before 1 p.m. that afternoon. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday confirmed that Ibarra, a Venezuelan national, entered the U.S. illegally in 2022 and had previously been arrested in New York City.

Fox News had previously reported that 26-year-old Ibarra, had crossed into the U.S. illegally near El Paso, Texas, in September 2022 and was paroled into the U.S.


In a statement to Fox News Digital, ICE confirmed he had been encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept. 8, 2022, after entering near El Paso and was “paroled and released for further processing.” ICE also said that Ibarra 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.” On Monday it corrected the statement, saying he was arrested on Aug 31, 2023.

ICE’s statement said Ibarra was released before a detainer could be issued. NYC is also a “sanctuary city,” which generally restricts law enforcement from complying with ICE detainers.

Georgia students mourn Laken Riley at vigil

University of Georgia students gather to pay tribute to Laken Riley at the Tate Plaza on campus in Athens, Georgia, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.  (Nell Carroll/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Former President Trump blasted “Biden’s border invasion” in a post on TRUTH Social, saying Riley’s murder “should have NEVER happened.” 

In a letter to President Biden last week, Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp demanded “a response to questions surrounding the immigration status of the arrested suspect in the murder of Laken Riley and asylum claims of the suspect’s brother.” 

“Laken Riley’s tragic death struck the hearts of Georgians everywhere and has rightfully sparked national outrage,” Kemp said in a statement. “As I have said many times before: every state is now a border state because of Joe Biden’s inaction, and today I am again demanding answers and information from the Biden Administration that will help us protect our citizens when the federal government will not.”

Georgia nursing students attend Laken Riley vigil

Augusta University students and University of Georgia students gather at the Tate Plaza on the UGA campus in Athens, Georgia, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, to pay tribute to Laken Riley, a nursing student found dead after failing to return from a run.  (Nell Carroll/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Clarke County Magistrate Judge Donarell Green denied Ibarra’s bond on Saturday. Two translators were present. Ibarra nodded when spoken to.

Ibarra’s brother, Diego, was charged Friday with possessing a fraudulent green card and is being held in state custody. The federal arrest affidavit for Diego Ibarra says that in September 2023, Athens-Clarke County Police charged him with drunken driving and driving without a license. He was later arrested for shoplifting and later skipped court.


The White House did respond to Riley’s murder on Monday. 

“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.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Audrey Conklin and Stepheny Price contributed to this report.

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