Suspect in Mexico City slaying denies killing flight attendant

Story highlights

  • 20-year-old Jose Manuel Ramirez Perez says he did not kill Nick Aaronson
  • Authorities allege he killed the U.S. Airways flight attendant after they met in a bar
  • Aaronson's body was found in a Hilton hotel room Saturday morning
  • Attorney general: Prints and security camera footage link Ramirez to the killing
The suspect in the slaying of a U.S. Airways flight attendant told reporters in Mexico City that the two went together to a Hilton hotel room, but he denied accusations of robbery and homicide.
Suspect Jose Manuel Ramirez Perez told the Reuters news agency Monday that he attacked flight attendant Nick Aaronson because Aaronson had sexually assaulted one of his friends.
Hotel security camera footage and an operation in a nearby bar led authorities to 20-year-old Ramirez, the Mexico City attorney general's office said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Ramirez met Aaronson, 27, at the bar and then robbed, beat and strangled him at a Hilton hotel across the street.
Authorities later located Ramirez near the bar, the statement said.
Security camera footage showed Ramirez entering the hotel with Aaronson, the attorney general said. Investigators also found Ramirez's fingerprints in the hotel room, prosecutors said.
Ramirez has previously been convicted on robbery charges, according to the Mexico City attorney general's office.
He will be charged with homicide and robbery, the statement said.
Hotel workers found Aaronson's body in the hotel room Saturday morning after concerned U.S. Airways co-workers told the reception desk they had been unable to reach him, the statement said.
"I wish they had the death penalty in Mexico," mother Anita Aaronson told CNN affiliate KPHO. "He took the bright light out of my life."
Aaronson was a "very popular" and a "much-loved flight attendant," Deborah Volpe, president of the Association of Flight Attendants Council 66, said over the weekend.
"This was a very tragic event, and it has affected us all. Right now, we are focusing on taking care of our crew members," she said.