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Madison Heights Murder a Hook-up Crime, Police Say

Madison Heights Murder a Hook-up Crime, Police Say

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 30 2015)


Madison Heights, MI – More details are emerging in the murder of Ferndando Gonzales of Madison Heights. The Daily Tribune reports that the suspect, 19-year-old Christopher Charles-Ruben King, arrived at Gonzales’s home at about 7:30pm on Oct. 31 after answering a Craig’s List ad according to an interview with Madison Heights Police Deputy Police Chief Corey Haines.

Hook-up crimes occur when a criminal answers ads for romantic or sexual encounters, but instead target the person they are meeting.

Gonzales was found dead in his home on Groveland at about 1am on Nov. 1st. An autopsy revealed that the 59-year-old hairdresser had been strangled. His home had been set on fire to cover up the murder, and the suspect stole Gonzale’s car.

King was arrested on Nov. 24 in Detroit and arraigned the next day. He is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and auto theft. A preliminary exam is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 8am in Madison Heights 43rd District Court.

Haines told The Daily Tribune that King was the last person to see Gonzales alive.

Equality Michigan, a statewide advocacy organization with a victim’s services program, has guidelines that encourage safe online dating that are useful no matter what one’s sexual orientation is:

~Understand that if you are going to send photos/videos of yourself to another, you no longer have any power as to how they will be used which means they could end up being used to blackmail you, or all over the internet.

~Do NOT give out personal information like your phone number, address, financial information, job address, etc.

~Pay attention to severe mood swings/changes in conversation – pay attention to red flags! If they are pressuring you about anything, think twice about their motivations.

~Try to verify their identity – do a background check if you can.

~If you are going to meet up, ensure that it is in a public place and that someone knows where you are and check in with them.

Equality Michigan can provide information and services to survivors of bias-related crimes. Learn more at the Equality Michigan website

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