Authorities charged a man Monday with fatally stabbing a college student from Saudi Arabia after arranging through Craigslist to buy the victim's expensive German car.
Police Chief Charlie Beck says the man charged in the killing attempted to keep both the car and the purchase price of more than $30,000.
Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, was charged in the death of 23-year-old Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, a student at California State University-Northridge in the San Fernando Valley section of the city.
At a news conference, Beck said Fernandez, of Long Beach, was found with the Audi automobile purchased from Alkadi.
The young Saudi man disappeared Sept. 17. His body was found last Thursday near Interstate 10 in Palm Desert, in Riverside County east of Los Angeles.
Fernandez did not enter a plea during an initial court appearance Monday. He was charged with committing a robbery and carjacking as special circumstances in the murder case and using a knife, leaving prosecutors the option of pursuing the death penalty.
Officials charged Fernandez met Alkadi through the online marketplace. Beck said Alkadi put the Audi up for sale in mid-September through Craigslist, and that Fernandez talked to the student over several days about buying the car. The two met at Alkadi's house, the chief said, but he declined to say where Alkadi was killed.
Fernandez killed the student "in an attempt to keep both the Audi and the purchase price," the chief said.
Beck said it is "all too common" for people to be robbed when taking part in online sales.
Alkadi, from Khobar, Saudi Arabia, was majoring in electrical engineering and had been in the United States since 2010, his brother, Ahmed Alkadi, 32, told the Los Angeles Daily News.