White House briefly comments on Laken Riley's murder, refers reporters to ICE

"Given this is an active case, we would have to refer you to state law enforcement and ICE."

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A White House spokesman commented on a report about Laken Riley's death late Monday afternoon. The quick comments in a report online said that the murderer should be "held accountable" and then referred the reporters to ICE and state law enforcement.  

In a comment to Fox Digital, a spokesman from the Biden White House told reporters, "We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Laken Hope Riley." 

"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." 

President Joe Biden has yet to address the murder himself directly in his official capacity. 

Last Thursday, Laken Riley, who was a nursing student at Augusta University at the University of Georgia Campus at Athens (UGA), was out for a run and then later found dead in a forested part of UGA.

On Feb. 23, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey Clark announced the arrest of Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, who is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela. Ibarra was arrested prior in New York and charged with acting in a manner to injure a child after he was released by border enforcement in Texas. He was not held afterwards. 

Ibarra's brother, Diego, has also been arrested by Athens law enforcement three other times for driving under the influence, shoplifting, as well as failing to appear for a fingerprinting. Jose Ibarra has been charged with murder, kidnapping and other felony criminal violations in connection with the murder of Riley.  

Police Chief Clark said in a press conference that it had been around 30 years since a homicide had taken place on campus. Riley was killed by blunt force trauma.  

"He did not know her at all. I think this is a crime of opportunity where he saw an individual and bad things happened," Clark said. "The evidence is robust. It is supported by key input by the community, physical evidence and expert police work. Importantly, we were assisted by video footage from our campus security cameras network."  

Riley's family made a statement about her murder, “We wish to thank the public for their prayers and thoughts during this tragic time,” the family’s statement read.

"Laken was an amazing daughter, sister, friend and overall person in general. 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.” 

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