Jeweler Charged with Murder of Salesman

March 2, 2001

Jeweler Charged with Murder of Salesman

A jeweler in Seguin, Texas, was arrested Wednesday and charged with kidnapping and murdering a New York jewelry salesman. Police found a body early Wednesday buried on a ranch near Geronimo, about 35 miles east of San Antonio, and believe it to be Majid Zerovabeli, 37, who has been missing for a week. Police arrested and charged Alejandro Torres, 26, with the death, but authorities are still waiting to confirm the identity of the victim, the Associated Press reports.

Officials say Torres owns M.R.T. Jewelers in Seguin, which was the last known stop for Zerovabeli. The man was last seen at the store on Feb. 21 between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. and was carrying $500,000 in jewels. He was expected to arrive at his nephew's house that evening, but he never showed up there, returned his rental car or made his scheduled flight home.

Torres was initially questioned about Zerovabeli's disappearance and took a lie-detector test on Monday. According to AP, at that time he admitted to fatally shooting Zerovabeli in his store, burying his body and disposing of his rental car. He later led police to the burial site. Torres is being held without bond, and charges against him are expected to be upgraded to capital murder once the body is formally identified.

- by Julia M. Duncan