Charges Pending in Death of Art School Student Found in Duffel Bag

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police said Wednesday they expect to file charges against a man being questioned in the murder of a city art school graduate whose body was discovered in a duffel bag.

The unnamed suspect lives in the same Philadelphia apartment building as 23-year-old Laura Araujo, who police said had been found beaten and strangled, her hands and feet bound.

A passerby found the duffel bag Monday in a north Philadelphia vacant lot that was strewn with the victim’s possessions, including clothes, photos and jewelry. Araujo had been transporting bags full of her belongings in her car, which was found torched a few miles away, police said.

Araujo had once lived a few blocks from the site where her body was dumped, but had recently moved a couple of miles away to the Mantua section of the city, police said.

Araujo, who had ties to New York and Oklahoma City, had recently graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a degree in fashion marketing. She was about to start a new hotel job, said Homicide Capt. James Clark.

“She was a very nice young lady, very successful, had a lot of good things in her future,” Clark said.

Authorities have not discussed a possible motive, and Clark said nothing appeared to have been taken from her. It was not immediately clear where and when she was killed.

“She never talked about anything going on in her life,” her father, Lorenzo Araujo, told reporters outside police headquarters Tuesday.

“She never gave any signs of distress.”

Police issued a statement Wednesday morning saying they planned to file charges later in the day against someone who was in custody.

(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press, All rights reserved.)

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