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‘Give Your Life to Jesus,’ Pleads Grieving Mom After the Murder of Laken Riley

Laken Riley
Screengrab via YouTube / @FOX 5 Atlanta

Allyson Phillips has clung to her faith during “the most devastating, unimaginable loss”—the murder of her 22-year-old daughter, Laken Riley. Riley was attacked and murdered while on her morning run on the campus of the University of Georgia.

“I know my sweet Laken knew Jesus personally and she will live eternally in His home,” said Phillips in a Facebook post. “He never left her side until the very last second she was here on earth and He will take care of her now and forever in heaven. I find peace during this devastation in knowing that.”

Allyson Phillips Gives God ‘All the Glory’ for Being Present As While Grieving the Loss of Laken Riley

According to local Atlanta news, Riley was a nursing student at Augusta University campus and had also previously attended the University of Georgia. She went out for a morning run on Thursday, Feb. 22, and never returned. Athens-Clarke police Chief Jeffrey Clark said Riley died from “blunt force trauma.”

The grieving mom posted the news on Facebook and shared how her faith in God has sustained her and their family. “As I sat down to write this message, I really just have no words. My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss that anyone could ever be force to endure,” began Phillips.

“I would like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for being with me and my family during this heartbreaking time,” she continued. “I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I give Him all the glory for getting us through this.”

Phillips was up front and honest about her faith—in God and in humanity—amid such loss. “It would be really easy to lose our faith in mankind because of this senseless and avoidable tragedy. The amount of love, support and help that we have received during this horrific nightmare is overwhelming,” she said. “We are beyond grateful for everyone who has stepped up to be here for us through this difficult time.”

She listed the number of practical and meaningful ways family, friends, and the community have come alongside her and her family. “I love you all. Please continue to pray for our family as we put one foot in front of the other moving forward,” Phillips said.

The main suspect, Joes Ibarra, has been arrested. According to local Atlanta news, “Jose Ibarra, 26, has been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing in connection to the murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to “assist the family with funeral expenses, establish a scholarship in her name, raise homicide awareness, or any other opportunity the family could use it for during this time,” the fund description said. At the time this of this article, the fund has raised nearly $240,000, greatly surpassing its $35,000 goal.