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Capital murder charge filed in death of Cal State Northridge student

A 28-year-old Long Beach man was charged Monday with capital murder in the death of a Cal State Northridge student from Saudi Arabia missing since last month.

Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, was charged with one count of murder in the death of 23-year-old Abdullah Abdullahtif Alkadi, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. Prosecutors also filed special circumstances alleging the murder happened during a robbery and a carjacking, and that Fernandez used a knife.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Fernandez, who was being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at a San Fernando courthouse Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege Fernandez met Alkadi, an engineering student, on a social media site after Alkadi posted an ad to see his car. Los Angeles police previously said Alkadi's brother told investigators he recently sold his Audi on Craigslist.

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LAPD arrest records show Fernandez was taken into custody Thursday morning in downtown Los Angeles. Alkadi's body was found that night along the 10 Freeway in Palm Desert, though a Riverside County sheriff's spokesman referred all inquiries to the LAPD.

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Los Angeles police officials said Sunday that two suspects were arrested in the case. The status of the second suspect was not immediately clear, but prosecutors emphasized that only Fernandez had been charged.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the case. The FBI assisted the LAPD with the investigation.

In a statement, Cal State Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison said school officials were assisting investigators "in any way we can."

"On behalf of the entire campus community, I extend our condolences to his family and friends during this heartbreaking time," Harrison said. "Losing such a promising young life is tragic."

Follow @lacrimes and @katemather for more Los Angeles crime news.

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