22-Year-Old UGA Nursing Student Identified as Slain Jogger

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo by Facebook / Laken Riley
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo by Facebook / Laken Riley

A woman found dead near a lake at the University of Georgia has been identified as 22-year-old nursing student Laken Hope Riley, the Athens-Clarke County coroner announced Friday.

The 22-year-old was a former student at UGA who attended Augusta University College of Nursing, another school in Athens, Georgia. Her roommate had reported her missing after Riley went for a jog and never returned.

Campus police found Riley’s body with “visible injuries” near UGA’s intramural fields on Thursday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities suspect foul play but have not released a cause of death.

Three people were taken into custody on Friday afternoon as police vehicles and personnel crowded around an apartment complex near the university trails where Riley was found. Police confirmed they have identified a person of interest in the case, but did not release the person’s name.

The university suspended classes on Thursday and Friday and advised students to “travel in groups” after Riley’s body was found.

Riley was a senior at Augusta University, having transferred from UGA in 2023. She was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at UGA and was an avid runner who had completed the AthHalf Half Marathon in October. Social media photos show her surrounded by friends, attending concerts and sporting games, and often spending time outside.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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