Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi in an undated photo. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Police Department
Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi in an undated photo. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Police Department

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the death of an engineering student from Saudi Arabia, whose body was found next to Interstate 10 in the Coachella Valley, police said Sunday.

Capt. William Hayes, commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division, confirmed numerous media reports that two arrests had been made in connection with the death of Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, 23, an engineering student at Cal State Northridge who disappeared Sept. 17 from his home near the Northridge campus in the San Fernando Valley, Officer Sally Madera of the LAPD’s Media Relations section said.

Both suspects are men now jailed in Los Angeles on suspicion of robbery, according to news reports.

A newspaper in Cerritos said the student, from a prominent Saudi family, may have been killed  while selling a car for a large amount of cash.

A source close to the investigation was quoted by the Hews Media Group-Community News, publisher of the Los Cerritos Community Newspaper. Its website reported that “two suspects were conducting a large cash transaction with the victim that involved the purchasing of a car from an online social networking web site.”

“Tomorrow there will be a scheduled press conference with Chief (Charlie) Beck, at which time the case will be discussed,” Madera said. No details about the time or venue were released.

Alkadi’s body was found Thursday along the freeway east of Cook Street, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office. That’s about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, and about 40 miles east of the Beaumont location where the student’s cellphone had last been used, just before it was deactivated.

Shortly after his disappearance, the student’s brother told a Los Angeles TV station that the victim’s car was sold by him the day before, but that police had checked the buyer and found no connection to the disappearance.

The family was at a loss, and could think of no reason why the 23-year-old electrical engineering student would travel to the Riverside County desert.

Family members of the victim were told by the State Department that two suspects had been arrested, according to a broadcast report.

— City News Service

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