Mattress removed from UM student's apartment, days after body found inside unit

Police continue searching for Yasser Abualfaraj's killer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Detectives are now onto their fourth day of investigating the case of a University of Miami student who was found dead Sunday inside his Coral Gables apartment.

Authorities are looking for a man they said they want to question, but they still haven't announced any suspects.

On Wednesday, cleaning crews moved what appeared to be a mattress wrapped in plastic out of the apartment on Santona Street, where just days earlier, Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was found dead by his roommate. Police said his body had multiple signs of trauma. 

The crew also removed three red biohazard bags as neighbors continue to try and wrap their heads around the tragedy.

"You don't expect things like that to happen here in Coral Gables," Liza Khmara said. 

Khmara lives just a floor below the crime scene and said all her neighbors have been affected by the case.

"I'm a young girl and I have a roommate, but she's not here this week. So, I haven't been sleeping here because it's just a really uneasy feeling. You want to be safe wherever you live," Khmara said. 

Just a day after Abulfaraj was found dead, detectives were knocking on doors and dusting for fingerprints at other apartments. On Tuesday, they released a sketch of a man they said was seen in the area shortly before Abulfaraj's body was found.

The man in the sketch isn’t being called a suspect at this point, but is wanted for questioning in connection to the case.

Detectives were back at the complex Wednesday, following up with neighbors.

"I feel pretty safe in the area, besides hearing about this. That kind of freaks me out now," UM student Jared Page said. 

Abualfaraj, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, was a third-year architecture student at UM.

Support and prayers from around the world have been pouring in for him on social media, mostly in Arabic.

His cousin was among those who took to social media, asking God to allow his loved one into paradise.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

About the Author: