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Woman found in duffel bag, 23, identified as recent Art Institute graduate

The corpse found inside a duffel bag on a Kensington Street early Monday morning has been identified as a New York native who was looking for an apartment at the time of her murder.

Laura Araujo. Credit: LinkedIn Laura Araujo. Credit: LinkedIn

The corpse found inside a duffel bag on a Kensington Street early Monday morning has been identified as a New York native who was looking for an apartment at the time of her murder.

Laura Araujo, 23, was killed by strangulation and blunt forced trauma, according to Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Unit Captain James Clark.

Her body, found at 5:30 a.m. on the 2200 block of North 3rd Street, was stuffed in a garbage bag, wrapped in a blanket, then placed inside a duffel bag. Her hands and feet were both bound. Police believe she was slain four to eight hours prior to the body's discovery.

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Clark said Araujo's 2011 Toyota Rav4 was found that same morning on the 1600 block of South Bambrey Street on fire.

Araujo, who was seeking a long-term apartment, had been keeping all of her belongings in garbage bags in her car, Clark said.

The 2200 block of North 3rd Street near Susquehanna Ave where Laura Araujo's body was found early Monday inside a duffel bag. Credit: Google Maps The 2200 block of North 3rd Street near Susquehanna Ave where Laura Araujo's body was found early Monday inside a duffel bag. Credit: Google Maps

All those bags were strewn around her corpse on Monday morning, Clark said.

“Her whole life was in those bags,” Clark said, saying the content included pictures, shoes, jewelry and "everything she owned."

Detectives believe the car was set on fire to destroy evidence of the murder, Clark said.

Police are seeking the public's help and tips, including where Araujo was last seen alive.

Araujo graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia in December. She was soon to begin a job at a city hotel, Clark said.

Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Araujo's murderer.

Clark urged the public to call the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or 215-686-3335.

 
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