Slain NJ man begged for his life from trunk of car, witness tells cops
TRENTON — A 20-year-old Hamilton man left his home to buy a video game console and then spent the last moments of his life begging his cold-blooded killers to spare him, according to new details released Friday.
Danny Diaz-Delgado was ambushed on March 23, bound and gagged and placed into the truck of a car that drove him to the Assunpink Creek in Hamilton where his killers dumped his body, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Superior Court.
Rufus Thompson, 29, was arrested on March 31. Last week, police arrested Akmal Alvaranga, 29, of Trenton.
According to the affidavit released by the prosecutor on Friday, Diaz-Delgado had communicated with Thompson about meeting up in Trenton in order to buy a PlayStation 4. It was Alvaranga who pulled the trigger, according to an acquaintance of the two suspects.
Diaz-Delagdo left his home late in the afternoon of Friday, March 23, and told his brother he would return within the hour, police said.
The friend of the suspects told police that the PlayStation sale was a ruse, adding that Thompson had asked Alvaranga to help with the robbery.
According to the affidavit, the witness told police that Diaz-Delgado was sent to a garage on Cook Avenue in Trenton where Thompson and Alvaranga hung out and worked on cars. Once Thompson arrived with the unsuspecting victim, Alvaranga pointed a gun at Diaz-Delgado and ordered him into the garage while Thompson went to an ATM and withdrew another $500 from Diaz-Delgado's account.
Alvaranga then used pink duct tape and an extension cord to tie up Diaz-Delgado. Investigators said they found pink duct tape and a television set with a cut-off cord at the Ardmore Avenue apartment where Thompson had recently lived. They also found an empty PlayStation 4 box.
Upon Thompson’s return, the two put Diaz into the trunk of a stolen Subaru and drove him to Hamilton, where Alvaranga used his gun to shoot Diaz, their friend told police.
The friend, who police have not publicly identified, had communicated with Thompson on Facebook, which first led police to him or her on April 11. The friend said Thompson told him what had happened within hours of the deadly robbery and that Thompson had discussed the robbery beforehand.
Although police describe this friend as a witness, the affidavit does not indicate that this person saw any part of the robbery or homicide.
The affidavit said that Alvaranga was already a person of interest in the case because he had been seen on surveillance footage. The witness was able to positively identity an image of Alvaranga and identified Thompson's Facebook account, which had its name changed three days after the slaying.
A judge on Friday ordered Alvaranga to remain in jail until his trial.
Both have been charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, kidnapping and weapons offenses.
Many police departments have created safe places for online sales. A parking lot or lobby of police headquarters is usually designated where residents can complete transactions.
When an official safe zone is not available, authorities suggest that people never go alone to meet a seller or buyer, never go to a home, and insist on meeting in a busy public place like a coffee shop.