Police have identified the woman who was found stuffed in a duffel bag yesterday morning in North Philadelphia as Laura Araujo, 23, a recent Art Institute of Philadelphia graduate who was looking for a place to live after moving out of her home in the area of 8th and Diamond streets.
Araujo, who graduated with a degree in fashion design, was about to start a new job at a hotel, was discovered around 5:30 a.m. Monday on 3rd Street near Susquehanna Avenue. She had been badly beaten and strangled, and her body was wrapped in a trash bag and blanket before being put in the duffel bag. Police believe her time of death was four to eight hours prior.
Homicide Capt. James Clark confirmed this afternoon that Araujo’s Toyota RAV4 was found on Bambrey Street in South Philadelphia. It was set on fire, likely in an attempt by the killer to cover his tracks, Clark said.
Investigators do not yet have a motive or suspect. They are trying to reach Araujo’s former roommates, who are on vacation, and are scouring her cell phone for clues.
Cops found Araujo’s personal belongings scattered around her body in North Philly -- everything from photos to shoes.
“Her whole life was in those bags,” Clark said.
Clark said Araujo was originally from the New York area and was living in Philly while attending the Art Institute.
Tipsters: Call 215-686-3334 or 3335.
- William Bender