Home News More Than a Thousand Mourners Pack Church to Honor Student Killed in Georgia

More Than a Thousand Mourners Pack Church to Honor Student Killed in Georgia

0
More Than a Thousand Mourners Pack Church to Honor Student Killed in Georgia

[ad_1]

More than 1,000 mourners braved the rain and blustery chill outside to pack the Woodstock City Church on Friday for the funeral of Laken Riley, the 22-year-old nursing student killed last week on the University of Georgia campus, 70 miles away.

Laken Riley in a photo from a social media account.

Ms. Riley was attacked while out jogging on Feb. 22. She was pursuing a nursing degree at Augusta University, after having been a student at the University of Georgia until May.

“When the world loses someone like Laken, whose light consistently shined so bright, it seems that much darker in their absence,” Samer Massad, the lead pastor of the nondenominational church that Ms. Riley and her family attended, said in a statement before the funeral on Friday afternoon. He continued: “Laken was special. She was a gift to anyone who knew her.”

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, a migrant from Venezuela who entered the United States illegally in September 2022, was charged with her murder in a case that was immediately thrust into the bitter national debate over immigration. He was staying in an apartment complex less than a mile from the University of Georgia’s intramural fields where Ms. Riley’s body was found near a wooded running path.

.

Instead of flowers, Ms. Riley’s family requested donations that would be used to cover funeral expenses, establish a scholarship in her name and create a foundation to focus on women’s safety and homicide awareness. Red, rubber bracelets reading “Laken Hope Riley Foundation” were handed out to those in attendance at the funeral service.

Nearly $180,000 had been raised by Friday afternoon.

[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here