A young gay mental health counselor was found dead in April in the early morning hours and his bank accounts depleted days later. Now, family and friends are asking how this could have happened.
Julio Ramirez, 25, met a friend in Hell’s Kitchen on April 20, according to NBC News.
They eventually made their way to the gay establishment the Ritz Bar and Lounge. A security camera near the bar caught Ramirez with three men, Ramirez’s brother Carlos told the outlet. He said the men then entered a taxi. Less than an hour later, the driver pulled up to the police telling them his Ramirez wouldn’t wake.
He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital at 4:49 a.m.
It wasn’t until his family and friends began looking for him and calling hospitals did they discover he had died. He was first identified as “John Doe” because he didn’t have any form of ID on him, Carlos said.
“The last text Julio sent was at 3:29am to his friend Carlos C. saying ‘did you go home.’ At 3:45am Carlos C. responded, ‘I’m home.’ Julio did not respond after that. Julio was supposed to meet Carlos at his apartment and never made it there,” Ramirez’s friend Karinina Quimpo told local news outlet W42ST. “We are unsure if Julio truly messaged Carlos C. or if someone had his phone at this point. Multiple friends have confirmed that at 3:46am on Thursday April 21, his location stopped being shared.”
When Ramirez’s family checked Ramirez’s bank accounts, his brother noticed transfers of thousands of dollars coming out of Ramirez’s accounts after his death.
Carlos Ramirez told NBC News that between April 21 and April 25, Ramirez’s bank accounts were drained through applications including Apple Pay and Zelle.
“They had literally taken every dollar that he had, all his savings and all of his money,” Carlos said. It came out to be approximately $20,000.
Ramirez’s brother believes his brother was drugged, possibly with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB — “date rape drug.”
Now, Ramirez’s family and friends wait for more information from the medical examiner’s office as well as investigators on what happened to the young man.