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Foul play suspected after woman who went for a run on university campus found dead: School

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(ATHENS, Ga.) — Foul play is suspected after a woman who went for a run on the University of Georgia’s Athens campus was found dead Thursday, school officials said.


The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Laken Hope Riley, the University of Georgia and the Athens-Clarke County coroner confirmed to ABC News.

A friend reported Riley missing shortly after noon when she failed to return home from a run at the school’s intramural fields earlier that morning, the university said.

University police officers subsequently found her in a wooded area behind a lake near the fields “unconscious and not breathing” with “visible injuries,” the university said. Officers attempted to provide medical aid but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her cause and manner of death have not been disclosed.

Riley was a student at the Augusta University College of Nursing, the school said. She had previously attended the University of Georgia.

“The receipt of this news this afternoon was shocking to all of us,” the Augusta University College of Nursing said in a statement Thursday.

Classes have been canceled at the nursing school on Friday, with counselors available to staff and students.

There is no suspect in custody, University of Georgia Police Department Chief Jeffrey Clark told reporters during a press briefing Thursday evening.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Athens-Clarke County Police Department are assisting in an investigation into the death, the university said.

“We have been fully briefed on this terrible situation,” the university said in a statement. “We want to assure you that the safety and welfare of our campus community is our top concern.”

The incident follows the “sudden death” of a student in the campus’ Brumby Hall Wednesday night, the school said. A cause of death has not been released.

Clark said there is no connection between the two deaths.

Classes have been canceled Friday and will resume on Monday, the school said, calling the past 24 hours a “traumatic time” for the university.

University officials recommended that students travel in groups when possible and download the school’s safety app.

Clark urged the school community to avoid the general area where the victim was found amid the ongoing investigation.

“We’re not gonna leave any rock unturned on this investigation,” Clark said. “We will follow all leads.”

There is no immediate danger to the public at this time, he said.

There has not been a homicide on the campus in the past 20 years, according to Clark.

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