Charges Filed In Art Institute Graduate's Murder - My9 New Jersey

Charges Filed In Art Institute Graduate's Murder

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An Art Institute graduate's neighbor is under arrest and facing murder charges after police say he confessed to killing her.

FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser reported live Wednesday night from outside police headquarters with the latest details on the case.

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators spent the day combing through the apartments of murder victim Laura Araujo, whose remains were found stuffed in a duffel bag, and 23-year-old Jeremiah Jakson, also known as Jerry Jackson, who now faces murder, burglary and robbery charges.

He's expected to be held without bail, and investigators say he gave a videotaped confession.

"We believe there was a struggle inside the residence, at which time she was killed," Homicide Unit Lt. Walt Bell said.

Detectives say Jakson allegedly confessed to beating and strangling Araujo on Sunday night after she arrived at her apartment at 40th and Brown streets to find Jakson burglarizing her place.

"They had rooms actually next-door to each other. And it was at that time that Mr. Jakson identified her as a possible future victim of his," Bell said.

Bebe, one of their neighbors, said, "Who would have thought that we were in the company of a murderer. He had no business to kill that girl."

Investigators say Jakson tied her hands and feet with duct tape, wrapped her head in a trash bag and repeatedly assaulted her.

"We don't know how long that had gone on," Bell. "It could have been a relatively short period of time that that happened, but in fact that did happen.

Her body was later found in the duffel bag on North Third Street in Kensington with her belongings.

"How dare him just take her life, for what?" asked Bebe.

Police say Jakson then took her car to the 1600 block of Bambrey Street in South Philadelphia and set it on fire. Evidence from the arson was left at the scene, including Jakson's cell phone.

He later turned up at a local burn center with serious burns to his hands and arms.

"And his life is gone. He's finished," Bebe said.

Neighbors at the apartment building where Araujo had just moved in remembered the young woman and mourned her death.

"I feel so sorry for her and her family. You know, her life is gone, she just graduated college, she had so much to live for," a neighbor said.

Police would not say if they recovered the murder weapon in that search Wednesday in Mantua. Jakson originally gave police quite a tale about being burned in some type of incident in South Philadelphia. That turned out to be bogus.

A fire marshal alerted police. That's what led investigators to Jakson, Schratwieser reported.

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