Arrest Made in Death of Flight Attendant

PHOTO: Nick Aaronson
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Police used hotel security cameras to identify and arrest a suspect in the murder of an American flight attendant who was found naked, bound with a belt and strangled in a Mexico City hotel room, his mother said.

Nicholas Aaronson, 27, of Phoenix, Ariz., was found dead in a hotel room early Saturday morning. His luggage was strewn about the room, and there was no sign of forced entry, according to a notice posted by Aaronson's union.

Aaronson's mother, Anita Aaronson, said she was alerted to an arrest on Sunday.

"The FBI called [other son] Jason at 2:30 a.m, and told him they have arrested Nick's killer," she wrote today on her Facebook page.

The mother told Phoenix news station KPHO that police had used surveillance video from the hotel to find and arrest the suspect.

"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 Aaronson told the station.

The US Airways flight attendant was known as a popular, well-liked worker and a gay rights activist.

Anita Aaronson wrote on her Facebook page that Jason Aaronson was greeted by many of his brother's co-workers as he went through Phoenix airport en route to Mexico City to bring the body back to the U.S.

"Jason was in Phoenix airport tonight to get the plane to fly to Mexico and he said flight attendants were lining up to give him condolences for Nick," she wrote. "He had an escort of 4 people taking him through the airport and the flight attendants were coming from everywhere to hug him, what wonderful friends my boy had."

Deborah Volpe, president of Association of Flight Attendants Council 66, remembered Aaronson fondly.

"This is so difficult. We all worked with him, we all knew him. He was just in my office a week ago," Volpe said. "And it's that smile, we all knew his smile. He was a very compassionate individual."

Aaronson's coworkers organized a Nov. 10 memorial at the airport chapel in Phoenix.

Aaronson also worked with gay rights advocacy groups in Phoenix, where he participated in the NOH8 campaign by posing for a campaign photo.

Aaronson graduated Rio Salado College in Tempe, and began working for U.S. Airways in 2006.

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