UGA students hold prayer service for student killed on campus

ATHENS, Ga. — UPDATE 2/23/2024: A woman found dead on the University of Georgia campus after she went for a jog has been identified as 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley, according to the Athens-Clarke County coroner. Here’s the latest on the investigation.

Students met at the Tate Student Center for a prayer service in honor of a nursing student.

You could feel the pain and sadness across the room Thursday night.

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Channel 2′s Larry Spruill was live in Athens on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. where students packed the inside of the Tate Student Center on UGA’s campus.

They remembered a woman who was found dead on campus on Thursday.

Xinge Lei said she couldn’t believe it.

“It was very shocking, devastating to say the least. It’s just very horrible and scary honestly,” said Lei.

UGA said they found the student dead behind a lake at the UGA Recreational Sports Complex. Channel 2 Action News confirmed the woman was a student at the College of Nursing Campus in Athens.

Police suspect foul play.

“It’s very sad. It’s definitely a different vibe on campus today. I think we just need to come together and be here for each other,” said Zachary Dennis.

Channel 2 Action News cameras were there as police checked student IDs in the area Thursday night.

Safety is now on the minds of many who call UGA home.

“It’s definitely concerning. I don’t know about scary for me particularly but definitely concerning,” said Cameron Blake.


“I think we all just need to be very careful and have our locations on for our friends and family just in case anything happens,” said Lei.

Classes at UGA are canceled on Friday.

Classes at the College of Nursing Campus in Athens are also canceled on Friday.

The campus will remain open as a gathering place for students, faculty, and staff for counseling.

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Larry Spruill

Larry Spruill, WSB-TV

Larry Spruill Jr. has been part of the WSB-TV family since March 2022. He is an Emmy Nominated Journalist with over 12 years of news and storytelling experience.