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The suspect charged with the murder of a 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student has reportedly been confirmed as an illegal immigrant who came to the United States from Venezuela.

According to Fox News, three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sources confirmed that the suspect, 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, entered the United States illegally in September of 2022. The sources told Fox News that the Venezuelan national was encountered by law enforcement at the southern border in El Paso, Texas, and released into the U.S. on parole.

According to The Daily Wire, UGA Police Chief Jeffrey Clark told reporters Friday that Ibarra has been charged with “malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another” in connection with the murder of Laken Riley, an Augusta University nursing student who was found dead Thursday at the University of Georgia.

READ MORE: Viral Video: Gang of illegal immigrants drags woman down NYC street

ICE confirmed to Fox News that Ibarra had illegally entered the United States in September of 2022 and had been arrested in New York City in August of 2023. After his arrest last August, Ibarra was “charged with acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 and a motor vehicle license violation.”

Clark told reporters Friday that Ibarra was arrested Friday for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Riley. He explained that Ibarra was not a student at the university and was not a U.S. citizen, adding that Ibarra had no known connection to Riley prior to Thursday’s murder.

“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 stated. The police chief also confirmed that Riley’s death was caused by “blunt force trauma.”

The New York Post reported that Riley was discovered with “visible injuries” in a wooded space near Lake Herrick at roughly 12:38 p.m. on Thursday.

Jose Ibarra’s 29-year-old brother Diego Ibarra, who is also an illegal immigrant, was charged Friday with the possession of a “fraudulent green card.” Diego Ibarra could face up to ten years in prison if he is convicted based on the criminal complaint.

A press release by the Department of Justice states, “Diego Ibarra is the brother of Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, of Venezuela, who is facing state charges for malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another in the death of Laken Hope Riley.”

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