LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Capital murder charges were filed Monday against a Long Beach man in connection with the death of a 23-year-old Cal State Northridge student from Saudi Arabia, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said.
Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, was in court Monday to face one count of murder with the special circumstances of murder during a robbery and murder during a carjacking. His arraignment was postponed.
“The complaint also alleges personal use of a deadly weapon, a knife,” DA spokeswoman Jane Robinson said.
Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, who disappeared Sept. 17, was introduced to Fernandez through Craigslist after he posted his car for sale and the pair later met at the Alkadi’s Northridge home, officials said.
The body of the engineering student was discovered Thursday along the 10 Freeway in Indio, police said.
Authorities arrested Fernandez that same day in connection with Alkadi’s disappearance.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference Monday that Alkadi was stabbed multiple times and there was evidence of the murder in the car posted for sale.
He said investigators believe the defendant intended to steal the vehicle, an Audi A6.
Beck also said Fernandez made statements to police that led them to the location of the body in Palm Desert.
In a warning to the public, he added the case is one that is “all too common” in L.A. County and the city of Los Angeles.
“I think the message for the public here is that you have to beware when using online Internet sites to sell anything,” Beck said.
The case is being investigated by the department’s robbery homicide division. The special circumstance allegations make Fernandez eligible for the death penalty, which will be decided on at a later date.
Beck said a second person was initially arrested last week. That person was released Monday morning and charges had not been filed against them.
Alkadi’s body will be flown Thursday to Saudi Arabia, where he will be buried.
“He was like any other college kid, into cars, meeting new friends,” cousin Mohammed Alomir said. “We are very devastated. We just hope justice will be served.”