Police Identify Student Found Dead On The University of Georgia Campus

By Bill Galluccio

February 23, 2024

University Sign
Photo: Dessothompson / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

An Augusta University College of Nursing student who was found dead on the University of Georga campus in Athens was identified as 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley.

The Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said that an autopsy will performed to determine how Riley died. The University of Georgia Police Department said that foul play was likely involved in Riley's death.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Athens-Clarke County Police Department are assisting campus police with the investigation.

The 22-year-old was reported missing by her friends after she never returned from jogging on the school's campus. Less than an hour after receiving the call, Riley's body was discovered near the intramural fields "in a forested area behind Lake Herrick."

She was "not conscious and not breathing" and had "visible injuries."

Classes were canceled at the University of Georgia's Athens campus on Friday, as were classes at Augusta University College of Nursing, which is about 2.5 miles away.

On Friday afternoon, UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor said that police have identified a person of interest in the murder, and that person is being questioned.

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