Laken Riley’s Mother Speaks Out About ‘Avoidable Tragedy’

Allyson Phillips, the mother of Laken Riley — the Georgia nursing student who police found murdered near campus at the hands of a Venezuelan illegal immigrant who was not even supposed to be in the U.S. — recently spoke out on Facebook about the death of her daughter and how her family’s “horrific nightmare” was an “avoidable tragedy.”

“As I sat down to write this message, I really just have no words,” Phillips said in the Facebook post. “My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss that anyone could ever be force [sic] to endure. I would like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for being with me and my family during this heartbreaking time.”

“I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I give Him all the glory for getting us through this,” she wrote, noting that the death of her daughter at the hands of a violent illegal alien was senseless and avoidable. “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,” Phillips wrote, thanking supporters for donating to her daughter’s foundation. “I can’t begin to tell you all how much we appreciate all of the text, calls, flowers, meals, groceries, bows, pictures, personal gifts, memorials, gift cards, and donations to Laken’s foundation.”

“Please know that every act of kindness has warmed our hearts and brought us joy during our worst nightmare,” the grieving mother added. “We appreciate all of the time, effort, and prayers that our family, friends, and community have showered us with to help ease our pain … Please continue to pray for our family as we put one foot in front of the other moving forward.”

Phillips updated her Facebook profile photo to an image of a heart with her daughter’s name and the caption, “Say Her Name.” Authorities suspect Venezuelan illegal immigrant Jose Ibarra of attacking Riley while she was jogging outside her house last month on the campus of the University of Georgia, bringing her to a nearby forested area and killing her.