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Police plan to charge West Philadelphia man in art grad's murder

Reports are emerging that police are planning to charge a suspect with murder in the death of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag on Monday morning.

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

Reports are emerging that police are planning to charge a suspect with murder in the death of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag on Monday morning.

The suspect has been identified by anonymous law enforcement sources as Jerry Jackson, 22, who reportedly admitted he strangled and beat Laura Araujo to death, later setting her body ablaze, in a robbery gone wrong, the Inquirer reported.

Reports say that charges against Jackson are pending a search of his West Philadelphia apartment. He was reportedly first interviewed by police last night as a "person of interest."

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At a press conference Tuesday, Homicide Unit Captain James Clark said that New York native Araujo was killed by strangulation and blunt forced trauma. 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.

Clark said Araujo’s 2011 Toyota Rav4 was found that same morning on the 1600 block of South Bambrey Street, set 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 bags were all strewn along her body.

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

 
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