Crime | Mexico | Mexico City | News | Phoenix

U.S. Airways Flight Attendant Found Strangled, Beaten in Mexico City

A Phoenix-based U.S. Airways flight attendant was found strangled and beaten in his Mexico City hotel room over the weekend, KPHO reports:

AaronsonA Mexico City paper said that Aaronson, who lived in the Phoenix area, was found on the floor of his room by his co-workers just after 6 a.m. Saturday morning at a five star Hilton hotel. The paper said he was strangled with a belt around his neck and hands tied behind his back, according to Prosecutors said no drugs, weapons or messages were found in the room.

A man has been arrested in connection with Aaronson's murder, according to his mother Anita Aaronson:

Anita said the FBI called her at 2:30 Sunday morning to tell her they had made an arrest. She said they used hotel security cameras to catch the man. Meanwhile, a friend of the family told CBS 5 News on Sunday that the suspect stole Nick's iPhone and police were able to track the suspect using the phone's GPS system.

"I wish they had the death penalty in Mexico. He took the bright light out of my life. He was only 27 and he had so much to live for and he was so charming and was just a really nice man," Anita said about the suspect and her son.

The blog LGBTQ Nation reports that "Aaronson, who was gay, was active in several LGBT rights causes, including participating in the NOH8 Campaign, was a supporter of marriage equality, and advocated on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign."

The victim's sexuality has not been confirmed in any of the mainstream news reports I have seen yet.

Watch a KPHA report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This story sort of hits me personally. I didn't know Nick Aaronson, but I am acquainted with someone who was close friends with him, and everything that I've heard just says that Nick was a really good guy.

    I would like to know what was the motive and circumstances surrounding his murder. In the meantime, I will mourn the loss of someone, not only vital to Phoenix and the people who live here (including myself), but to the GLBT community at large.

    Nick was a good man.

    Posted by: Ben Ragunton | Oct 31, 2011 8:33:04 AM

  2. I flew on a US Airways flight from Las Vegas to Dallas a week ago today. Nick was one of the flight attendants. He seemed so full of life, and I can't express how sad this makes me feel. I can't imagine the pain his family and friends must be feeling.

    Posted by: A.J. | Oct 31, 2011 9:26:54 AM

  3. Very sad. Unfortunately, with Mexico being in the state it's in socially and their anti-American biases, it's a place where trouble is just aiming to find you. RIP to him and best wishes go out to those personally impacted by his loss.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 31, 2011 9:52:14 AM

  4. Utterly sad.

    Posted by: Bobby | Oct 31, 2011 12:39:53 PM

  5. My first instinct is to think that this was a hook up/set up gone wrong. Very sad

    Posted by: Dennis | Oct 31, 2011 1:05:23 PM

  6. Francis, I'm from Mexico City, and I can assure you his death had nothing to do with an "anti-American bias." It was probably a hate crime of a very different kind.

    Posted by: Max | Oct 31, 2011 1:14:36 PM

  7. Since when does the FBI make arrests in foreign countries?

    Posted by: Mainstreetman | Oct 31, 2011 1:31:54 PM

  8. It will be very interesting to see if they get a conviction in this case. My gut feeling is that a gay panic defense has a very strong chance of success there, and I'll be surprised if the defense doesn't use one.

    Posted by: Sancho | Oct 31, 2011 1:32:54 PM

  9. I'm just surprised we don't hear about more of this, in the wide wide world of gay flight attendants. What a horrible tragedy, but in the grand scheme of things, something is going to go terribly wrong occasionally. Evil like this, though it comes through and at the hands of a human being, is nearly a force of nature. But still, so so sad and tragic.

    Posted by: Clint | Oct 31, 2011 2:11:51 PM

  10. Rest in eternal peace Nick. Not many of my brothers and sisters in the gay community believe, but I believe that you are at peace in a world full of love. Thank you for the work you did while here....

    Posted by: John Simpson | Oct 31, 2011 2:31:33 PM

  11. If you don't know anything about Mexico's legal system then you should either use google or not comment about defense strategies. In Mexico you are guilty until proven innocent. Also Mexico City is not only the largest city in Mexico but also the capital where Gay Marriage is a reality and you can't say the same about the US.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Oct 31, 2011 3:23:02 PM

  12. @Frances I've always found America to have much stronger anti-Mexican biases than vice versa.

    Posted by: jj | Oct 31, 2011 3:50:57 PM

  13. RIP Nick.

    Francis comment is unfounded. This can happen any where, and we can read between the lines the who and how of this. It was no doubt an error in judgement that could happen to anyone. I am an American, I live in Mexico. We are generally well-treated, popular... and safe. These things happen... we need to be careful.

    Posted by: Ken | Oct 31, 2011 4:53:32 PM

  14. Unfortunatly, it sounds like a robbery gone wrong. Sometimes it's not a plot, or a conspiracy, or a hate crime, or etc. Sometimes it's a criminal who cons his way into your room, ties you up, kills you, robs you, and leaves. It probably happens way more than we would be comfortable knowing, it just doesn't reach the media.

    My heart goes out to the family and friends. I have family members who are flight attendants, and they say it can be very dangerous outside the safety of the concourse. Everyone be safe this Halloween!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Oct 31, 2011 7:34:56 PM

  15. Mainstreetman The FBI has agents in many foreign countries esp those we have extradition or Interpol agreements with. And its not uncommon to see some Euro countries and Canada make arrests in the US. A well publicized case in San Diego a few years back a wanted IRA hitman was arrested by Scotland Yard in San Diego at a Marina (where he was living on a boat) the SDPD just stood their and watched.

    Posted by: DeWayne | Oct 31, 2011 7:58:21 PM

  16. What a horribly wretched place. Next time you druggies out there go to shoot up, snort up, or whatever -- think about the conditions you are helping to create in Mexico. My heart goes out to Nick's friends and family.

    Posted by: Bri | Oct 31, 2011 9:04:57 PM

  17. let's not point fingers at anyone, but share in the grief that family members and friends are experiencing at this sad time. Such a shame that such a fine guy is taken from us far too early in life.

    Posted by: Robert | Oct 31, 2011 9:48:29 PM

  18. Suspect arrested:

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Oct 31, 2011 10:36:55 PM

  19. Mexico City became Colombia drug trafficking, poverty, impunity, overpopulation, guerrillas

    is dangerous mexico city

    Posted by: josue | Nov 1, 2011 12:38:27 AM

  20. How sad. When will something be done about the escalating violence in Mexico (on the border especially)? If Mexican athorities are powerless against the cartels, then Calderon needs to grant the US Army and DEA temporary operation control over the Federali and local law enforcement.

    Good bye, Nick. I would have liked to have met you.

    Posted by: Thomas | Nov 1, 2011 2:30:54 AM

  21. Its very sad to hear what happened.. I am a flight attendant and have known people that have had things happen to them.. everyone please watch out when you travel.. there are a lot of crazy people out there.. My thoughts are with his family and the whole US Air team.....

    Posted by: Troy | Nov 15, 2011 12:07:30 AM

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