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An undocumented Venezuelan man living in Athens, Georgia — who is the brother of a suspect accused of killing on the University of Georgia campus —— was charged Friday night with possessing a fraudulent green card, according to officials.

Diego Ibarra, 29, was charged by a federal criminal complaint and is being held in state custody, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Georgia said in a press release. Ibarra could face as many as ten years in prison if convicted.

Ibarra is the brother of Jose Ibarra, 26, of Venezuela, who is facing state charges for malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing the death of another in connection with the death of Laken Hope Riley, a 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student who police found dead Thursday on the University of Georgia campus.

Homeland Security Investigations learned of Diego Ibarra’s undocumented presence in the U.S. on Friday when an Athens-Clarke County Police Department officer approached him earlier in the day because he matched the description of his brother as authorities were investigating the UGA murder, according to the criminal complaint and sworn affidavit.

LAKEN RILEY CASE: GEORGIA AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY MURDER SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN NURSING STUDENT’S SLAYING

Diego Ibarra showed the officer a U.S. permanent resident card, otherwise known as a green card, as identification. The card was determined to be fraudulent, and Diego Ibarra was processed for expedited removal, but he claimed a credible fear of returning to his home country of Venezuela. He was then released from immigration custody pending adjudication of his claim for asylum on April 30, 2024.

Since entering the country, Diego Ibarra has been arrested three times by Athens law enforcement. In late September, he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a license. About a month later, he was arrested for shoplifting, and in December he was arrested for failure to appear for a fingerprintable offense.

Melissa Hodges, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Georgia, said she can confirm Diego Ibarra is undocumented but cannot say the same for his brother.

“I can confirm Jose Ibarra is from Venezuela only. Diego is undocumented from Venezuela,” Hodges told Fox News Digital. “I do not have the details on Jose Ibarra.”

Jose Ibarra, who was originally taken into custody on Friday by the UGA Police Department in connection with Riley’s death, is now not believed to have had a connection to the victim.

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA POLICE QUESTIONING ‘PERSON OF INTEREST’ IN LAKEN RILEY HOMICIDE

Laken Riley smiles wearing a brown top

UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said during a news briefing Friday evening that the attack was a “crime of opportunity,” adding that Riley was not a student at UGA. Riley had previously attended UGA before entering a nursing program at Augusta’s Athens campus.

Classes and events at both universities were canceled on Friday.

Clark said Jose Ibarra’s immigration status was not immediately known to investigators.

“Right now I don’t know his full status,” he said. “He is not a citizen of the United States.”

Police found Riley near UGA’s Intramural Fields and Lake Herrick with “visible injuries” at around 12:38 p.m. Thursday after they received a call from a concerned friend who said she had gone for a run and did not return.

GEORGIA NURSING STUDENT FOUND DEAD ON UGA CAMPUS IDENTIFIED AS LAKEN RILEY

Laken Riley in a medical coat in a grassy field

Riley had visible injuries and police could not locate a pulse, but they began CPR anyway. A sergeant arrived with a defibrillator minutes later and unsuccessfully attempted to revive the victim.

“Based on the injuries and Riley’s physical condition, I suspected that foul play was involved,” the police report reads.

Clark said it appeared as though she had been killed by blunt-force trauma.

Autopsy results remained pending Friday, but authorities said they were investigating her death as a homicide. Clark said it appeared as though she had been killed by blunt-force trauma.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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