When 27-year-old U.S. Airways flight attendant Nick Aaronson of Phoenix missed his scheduled shuttle bus in Mexico City on Saturday morning, his co-workers asked hotel staff to check on the young man. They found him “naked, face down on the hotel bed, unconscious, with a belt around his neck and his hands tied behind him.” He had been severely beaten and strangled to death.
Though the attacker scattered the contents of Aaronson’s luggage around the room, the police found no drugs or weapons there. They did however just arrest a suspect reportedly caught by security cameras and in possession of Aaronson’s iPhone. There’s no indication of motive for the attack as of yet.
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Meanwhile Deborah Volopeck, president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Council 66 — a union which represents U.S. Airways employees—and who knew Aaronson personally, told the Arizona Republic, that Nick was a “very popular” and “very loved” member of the airline’s Phoenix-based crews.
“It’s tragic. We are caring for our co-workers. We’re a tight-knit group in Phoenix. “What our focus is right now, is caring for our co-workers who all know Nick… His loss is a heavy loss for all of us,” said Volopeck.
Aaronson even participated in Adam Bouska’s NOH8 campaign. That he fell victim to hate is a cruel irony.