Araujo's alleged killer, a budding musician, attempted suicide at police HQ

Police have charged Jeremiah Jackson with murder and related charges in the death of a 23-year-old Art Institute graduate whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag.
Police have charged Jeremiah Jackson with murder and related charges in the death of a 23-year-old Art Institute graduate whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag.
Posted: July 18, 2014

IN THE WEEKS leading up to Laura Araujo's slaying, Jeremiah Jakson's life seemed to be spiraling out of control. Or he was on the cusp of greatness.

It depended on the day and the hour, but it was all on display on Jakson's Facebook page, a constant barrage of selfies, street cliches and grandiose delusions.

The spotlight-grabbing narcissist is the polar opposite of Araujo, 23, a shy college grad who never wanted much attention.

"Im a good dude at heart but im done being a good dude," Jakson wrote on June 26.

Jakson, 22, was a security guard with AlliedBarton Security Services, but was fired last month for performance reasons. Photos show him in uniform wearing what appears to be a security badge from Temple University Hospital's Episcopal Campus.

As his job was unraveling, Jakson said he was preparing to unleash a "different type of music" on Philadelphia.

"Basically I'm a unknown artist bout to make it to the known category by summer," wrote Jakson, who used the stage name Miah and wrote that he was preparing to drop an album titled "Ready for Whatever."

Jakson made it to the "known category" on Tuesday when he was taken into custody for questioning and later charged in the slaying of Araujo, a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia who was strangled and found inside a duffel bag Monday morning in North Philadelphia. He is now awaiting his preliminary hearing.

At police headquarters on Tuesday, Jakson tried to hang himself, a police source said yesterday.

Jakson's last Facebook status update was written at 5:10 p.m. Sunday, the evening before Araujo's body was discovered by a trash picker.

The post began: "Father please forgive my sins. . ."

Jakson's former apartment complex in East Germantown was abuzz yesterday with news of his arrest, but neighbors said he hadn't lived there recently.

The homicide case also made waves at St. Joseph's University, which is in the process of outsourcing dorm-security jobs to AlliedBarton, where Jakson had worked.

"It's very upsetting," said Cori Clark, an eight-year desk attendant at St. Joe's. "The parents appreciate us and trust us. They don't know these other employees. St. Joe's has put the money in front of the safety of the students."

Jakson had previous arrests for robbery, theft and other charges, according to police. But he had no adult convictions that would preclude his hire, AlliedBarton said in a statement. A St. Joe's spokesman declined to comment.

The services for Araujo, who had graduated last year with a degree in fashion marketing, will be held tomorrow in Marietta, Ga., where most of her family lives.

Police say Jakson had targeted Araujo, who was staying on the same floor of a boarding house in Mantua, because he thought she had a lot of money.

"It's hard to believe," said Lorenzo Araujo, the victim's older brother.


On Twitter: @wbender99

Blog: ph.ly/DailyDelco

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