October 20, 2014 / 8:00 PM / 5 years ago

California man charged with capital murder of Saudi student

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 28-year-old man was charged on Monday with murdering a college student from Saudi Arabia whose remains were found last week alongside a freeway in a Southern California desert city, Los Angeles prosecutors said.

Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department. REUTERS/Los Angeles Police Department/Handout

Agustin Rosendo Fernandez could be eligible for the death penalty if he is found guilty of murdering 23-year-old Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi during a robbery and carjacking in Palm Desert, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Alkadi, an engineering student at California State University, Northridge, went missing from his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Reseda on Sept. 17.

His body was discovered last week some 125 miles (200 km) away alongside the Interstate-10 freeway in Palm Desert.

Prosecutors said Alkadi and Fernandez met through a social media site after the student posted his car for sale.

Local media have reported that Alkadi had sold one of his cars, an Audi worth approximately $52,000, on Craigslist around the time of his disappearance.

The FBI had been assisting the Los Angeles Police Department with its probe, which resulted in the arrest of two men.

An LAPD spokeswoman declined to say if Fernandez was one of them, adding that details will be released in a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors have said they will ask that Fernandez, slated for arraignment later on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, to held without bail.

No decision has yet been made about whether to seek the death penalty in the case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Mohammad Zargham

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