FBI director speaks at UGA on death of Laken Riley during accountability lecture series

ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. — Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray spoke about the death of Laken Riley during a lecture series on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens on Tuesday.

Laken Riley, a UGA nursing student, was killed by Jose Ibarra, a migrant who was illegally in the country from Venezuela last month, according to authorities.

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During Wray’s remarks at the ‘Leadership and Accountability: The Right Thing, the Right Way’ University of Georgia Getzen Lecture on Accountability, he said he is heartbroken for the family and the community.

“I want to tell you how heartbroken I am—not just for the family, friends, classmates, and staff who are grieving Laken’s loss,” Wray said. “But for Augusta University and the entire UGA community, which many members of my own family are a part of. A lot of people—students, alumni, and community members alike—see Athens as a kind of safe haven from what ails so much of the rest of the country.”

He said he was sad to see the sense of peace be broken as a result of the incident.

“I’m saddened to see that sense of peace shattered by Laken’s murder and the subsequent arrest of a Venezuelan national who’d illegally entered the country in 2022,” he said.


Wray was on campus for UGA’s lecture series on government accountability.

He said the FBI is doing “everything they can” to get “justice” for the college student.

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