Laken Riley Murder: Atlanta Track Club ‘heartbroken’ over student’s killing

The Atlanta Track Club is sending its condolences to the family of a nursing student who was killed on the University of Georgia campus last week.

Laken Hope Riley went for a run Thursday morning near the UGA intramural fields and never returned. Police later found her body.

On Friday, police announced the arrest of Jose Antonio Ibarra and charged him with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another.

Documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News on Tuesday accused Ibarra of kidnapping Riley between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and “disfiguring her skull” with an object. The documents did not specify what kind of object.


The Athens-Clarke County coroner’s office confirmed that Riley died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Ibarra is also accused of “physically” preventing Riley from making or completing a 911 call. The documents alleged that Ibarra dragged Riley from the intramural fields to a “secluded area” and concealed her death.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Atlanta Track Club said it was “heartbroken over the loss of Laken.”

“Running, walking and fitness should be universally safe and accessible, free from fear or bias,” the club said. “Atlanta Track Club is committed to creating an environment where everyone, regardless of identity, can experience the joys of fitness without fear.”

Riley’s father, John Phillips, released a statement on behalf of the family on a GoFundMe set up to help the family with funeral expenses and to set up a foundation in her name.

“On behalf of our entire family we would like send out a heartfelt thank you for your donations and overwhelming support. 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. Every single dollar donated will go towards starting the Laken Hope Riley Foundation and will be used to drive homicide awareness and safety for women. Again, thank you for your kind support and we love you all!”

The GoFundMe account has raised more than $137,000. You can donate HERE.