Family to travel to Armenia to investigate murder of gay son
October 08 2004 12:00 AM ET
Five months after openly gay American Joshua Haglund was stabbed to death in Armenia, his family plans to travel there in search of answers. No one has been arrested in the killing of Haglund, 33, who graduated from high school in Mounds View, Minn., and had traveled the world after graduating from the University of Minnesota. His landlady found him May 17 on the street outside his apartment in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
"We haven't seen a police report, autopsy--basic information," said Haglund's brother, James, who planned to leave for Armenia on Thursday along with his mother and two other siblings. "We're told this is a highest priority to the Armenian officials, but we've had no direct contact with them. I think it's a lack of closure, and that's a very important part of our healing process." His family has expressed concern that Haglund's sexual orientation may have had something to do with his death.
The family plans to spend 10 days in Yerevan meeting with local court officials and Joshua's friends and colleagues. Haglund was fluent in Japanese, Spanish, and Hindi and taught English courses in several countries. He moved to Yerevan last year to take a job at the state-run Linguistics University through an exchange program overseen by the U.S. State Department.
State Department spokeswoman Kelly Shannon said officials have issued weekly reports to the family including all information available. They also paid for the return of Haglund's body and personal effects and helped arrange the family's trip to Armenia. She stressed that local police are handling the case. "We can't make the outcome of the investigation different," Shannon said. "Just like in the United States, some crimes remain unsolved when police cannot go past a certain point."