Cal State University, Northridge student Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi was stabbed to death after attempting to sell his Audi A6 on Craigslist, LAPD Chief Beck said at a press conference Monday.
Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, of Long Beach has been charged with one count each of murder with special circumstances of murder during a robbery and murder during a carjacking, Beck said, adding that both the car and the suspected murder weapon have been recovered.
Beck said Alkadi, a student from Saudi Arabia, had several online conversations about the car, which was listed at more than $30,000, then met with a prospective buyer on September 17.
But he never came home.
Beck said police believe Fernandez took the car, kept the money, and at some point stabbed Alkadi and dumped his body in the Palm Desert area.
Police arrested Fernandez, who still had the car, on Thursday. Beck says Fernandez gave police statements that led them to where Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies found Alkadi's body the next day.
A second suspect arrested in the case has since been released from custody.
"The other person is still under investigation," Beck said. "There may be additional charges, but there may not."
Beck said this kind of attack happens "all too often" in Los Angeles.
"When the transaction is about to come to fruition and the money's being presented," he said. "That's a very dangerous time, and people need to be aware of that."
Beck suggested several precautions that online buyers and sellers can take to ensure their safety, including conducting the final transaction in front of a police station.
Among the other suggestions he and City Councilman Mitch Englander suggested were to:
- Take somebody with you when selling or buying something online
- Meet in a public spot, ideally near a police station, during daylight hours.
- Don't use your full name.
- Don't list your home address or phone number online.
- In photos posted to online, just show the item you're selling — do not include family, friends or details of your home. If your posting an image of a vehicle, block your license plate number.
- Consider meeting at the bank if the amount that will change hands is significant.
- If there's something that just doesn't feel right, leave immediately.
This story has been updated.
Update 12:29 p.m. CSUN student's death: Suspect charged with capital murder
A Long Beach man has been charged with capital murder in the death of a Cal State Northridge student whose remains were found near the 10 Freeway last week.
Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, was charged Monday with one count of murder with special circumstances, including robbery and carjacking, which would make him eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek that or a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.
The body of Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, 23, was found at about 11:50 p.m. Thursday night alongside the 10 Freeway in Palm Desert, according to an LAPD release.
Alkadi, an engineering student, had been missing for a month. He was last seen near his Northridge home on Sept. 17, according to the statement.
He met Fernandez after posting his car for sale on a "social media site," prosecuting attorney Cynthia Barnes said in a statement from the D.A.'s office.
Two people were arrested on Sunday in the case, though the D.A.'s office did not mention a second suspect in its statement.
Fernandez was scheduled for arraignment Monday afternoon, and prosecutors planned to request that he be held without bail.