Fourth arrest in Araujo murder

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 19 2002 12:00 AM ET

A fourth suspect has been arrested in the beating and strangling of a Newark, Calif., transgendered teen killed at a party last month after it was discovered the youth was a biological male rather than a biological female. Jason Cazares, 22, of Fremont, was arrested on suspicion of murder Saturday after police had gathered enough evidence to obtain an arrest warrant for his alleged role in the killing of Eddie "Gwen" Araujo, said Newark police lieutenant Tom Milner. "The trail seems to be hot, and we're continuing forward," Milner said of the investigation. He declined comment on what role Cazares allegedly played in the slaying. Cazares was being held at the Santa Rita Jail without bail, Milner said.

Last month another suspect led authorities to a shallow grave located 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra foothills two weeks after the October 3 party from which Araujo disappeared. The 17-year-old was found buried--wrists and ankles bound--in the miniskirt the victim was last seen wearing. Witnesses told police that Araujo had been beaten, dragged half-conscious into the garage, and strangled with a rope after a girl at the party discovered that Araujo was anatomically male, according to court documents.

Three other men also have been arrested and charged with murder, boosted with a hate-crime enhancement. Jaron Nabors, 19, has pleaded innocent, while Jose Antonio Merel and Michael William Magidson, both 22, have not yet entered pleas. A hearing date has been set for December 13.