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Police Question Person Of Interest In Art Institute Grad Murder

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PHILADELPHIA -

 

Murder charges could come later this morning in the brutal death of a recent college grad.

Philadelphia police are questioning a 23-year-old male as a person of interest in the killing of 23-year-old Laura Araujo…a recent graduate of the art institute of Philadelphia.

Police told Fox 29's Dave Kinchen Tuesday night the person of interest lived in the same West Philadelphia apartment complex Araujo lived in.

She was only at this address for a few weeks since moving from 8th and Diamond where she lived with some friends.

Police did not know about her West Philadelphia address until late Tuesday.

Police are now reportedly heading to this address to execute a search warrant.

Fox 29's Dave Schratwieser was at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon to see what detectives and the victim's family had to say.

Homicide detectives say it was 23-year-old Art Institute student Laura Araujo who was found bound with duct tape and murdered inside a duffel bag on North 3rd Street Monday morning.

"She had been badly beaten, she had been strangled, she was stuffed inside a duffel bag," said Philly Police Captain James Clark

Police found the New York native's body inside a trash bag. Her hands and feet were bound with duct tape. Hours earlier they found her silver Toyota Rav 4 with Oklahoma plates torched in South Philadelphia miles from where he body was found. Her belongings were found in bags with her body.

"Her whole life was actually in these bags, from pictures to clothes to shoes, jewelry, everything she owned," said Captain Clark.

"She was very special. Because her main goal in life were related to religion and health things," said her father Lorenzo.

Araujo just graduated from the art institute, police say she lived here on North 8th Street with Temple students until recently when they moved out for the summer.

"We don't have a clue. We have no idea what happened," her father said.

"Dastardly, heinous, why? Brutal, unbelievably heinous," said Art Institute Student Scott Parry.

Police were checking surveillance video from where her torched car was found and where her body was dumped Fox 29 found Araujo's bank statement and personal journal notebook at the scene on North 3rd. A red gas can, makeup and a burnt dollar bill were found near where he car was located.

"Somebody that's young in the prime of life going for everything they love. To have that snuffed out, it's got me shaking," added Parry.

The victim is believed to have been dead 4 to 8 hours before body found.

She had been apartment hunting, and had a new job at Center City hotel.

There were no signs of a sexual assault, and her wallet and phone have been recovered.

There is currently a $20,000 reward for info.

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