Woman With OKC Ties Found Dead, Stuffed Into Duffel Bag

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 11:35 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City doctor's daughter is found dead. Her body was shoved inside a duffle bag. 

It happened in Philadelphia where she was living and going to school, but she made a big impact in Oklahoma. Laura Araujo, 23, was born and raised in New York, but in 2010, she lived in Oklahoma where her father is a psychiatrist, and she wanted to be closer to him. While here, she spent a year at the Bethel Foundation in Oklahoma City, a place where she volunteered to help single mothers and their children.

“The kids just gravitated to her,” said Lynda Powell of the Bethel Foundation. “It was just like an instant connection between the kids and Laura, because I think they saw her heart.”

It spoke through her actions. Laura was quiet, different. Her peers knew it, and so did her father.

“She was very special, because her main goals in life were related to religion and to health things,” her father, Lorenzo Araujo, said.

Those goals were shattered when someone found her body dumped in a vacant lot. She had been bound with duct tape, shoved in a trash bag and then stuffed into a duffel bag. Police arrested Laura's neighbor, Jeremiah Jackson.

“I could guess that whatever happened was a common accident,” said Araujo. “We don’t have a clue.”

While her family has no idea why this happened, investigators say Jackson thought Laura had money, and he beat her to death when she wouldn't give him the PIN number to her bank account.

“I remember with being so young, she had such a huge heart for kids and for single moms who were struggling,” Powell said.

However, police say Laura was the one struggling in the last moments of her life before Jackson killed her and then took her body to another location - a horrific end to such a kind and admired young lady.

“She was the sweetest, kindest person,” said Powell. “Who would want to do that?”

Sources say Jackson confessed to the crime, and Laura died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.

They also say they were tipped off to Jackson after he went to the hospital for burns to his arms and chest that he allegedly got while setting Laura's car on fire.

Jackson has been in trouble in the past for robbery, theft and gun charges.