Monday, October 31, 2011

Mexico City Police Make Arrest in Robbery, Murder of US Airways Flight Attendant

Police in Mexico City arrested Jose Manuel Ramirez, 20, earlier today (October 31) for allegedly robbing and murdering a US Airways flight attendant, Nick Aaronson, in the latter's guest room at the Hilton Hotel.

Ramirez reportedly stole the victim's belongings and broke into the in-home safe. Chief prosecutor Miguel Mancera said Ramirez and Aaronson arrived at the downtown Hilton early Friday (October 28) and went to the room together. Mancera said the attack and robbery happened shortly thereafter, when Ramirez severely beat and strangled Aaronson with a belt.

Other US Airways flight attendants asked hotel employees to check Aaronson's room on Saturday (October 29), but found his naked body lying on the floor, with his hands tied behind his back.

COMMENT: Mancera reported that Ramirez had a criminal record and had been released from a Mexico City prison in June. He said the suspect was identified after studying the hotel's surveillance videos. Ramirez is being held pending arraignment. This case offers us several lessons learned: (1) Don't use in-room safes--they almost always have a "backdoor" for hotel staff, plus they can be easily broken into. Alternatively, use the two-key safe deposit box system in the hotel lobby; (2) Be cautious in dealing with new acquaintances--you know nothing about them. In this case, the assailant was an ex-con; and (3) A hotel room where your valuables are is the WRONG place for a sexual encounter, regardless of gender. Always consider the risks.

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