OK Family's Daughter Found Murdered In Philadelphia

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 10:22 am
By: News 9

An Oklahoma family traveled to Philadelphia after police said their daughter was found murdered and stuffed into a duffel bag.

According to police, 23-year-old Laura Araujo was murdered on Monday in a north Philly neighborhood. Her family is there, trying to get more answers from police.

It's been a heartbreaking 48 hours for her Oklahoma family. Araujo's parents arrived at homicide headquarters late Tuesday afternoon, hoping to help investigators find the killer who first torched her car, then left her body on a Kensington lot, hands tied, trash bags covering her head and feet, her body stuffed into a duffle bag.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Philadelphia Police Lt. Walter Bell said they have arrested a suspect in the murder. They identified that suspect as 23-year-old Jerimiah Jackson and said the motive may have been robbery.

"The Medical Examiner's Office has conducted an autopsy, and has ruled this a homicide. Manner of death, strangulation and blunt force trauma," Captain James Clark said.

Her father who had just arrived from Oklahoma, said as a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, she had earned a fashion design degree and landed a job at a Philadelphia hotel. But her first interest was always religion and helping people.

"Her main goals in life were related to religion and health things," the victim’s father, Lorenzo Araujo said.

Personal items found at the murder scene, police said, including her banking records and personal journal, indicate the victim was carrying many of her possessions with her, looking for a new place to live when she was attacked.

Police say Jackson lived in the same building as Araujo and may have believed she possessed a large sum of money.

According to police, Araujo’s cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma. They say a struggle happened inside of her apartment and her body was transported from the scene. Jackson had burn marks on his chest and arms from allegedly setting Araujo’s car on fire.