Jeweler charged with the murder of salesman

A Seguin, Tex., jeweler was arrested Wednesday and charged with the death of New York jewelry salesman who has been missing for a week, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

A body believed to be that of Majid Zerovabeli was found early Wednesday on a ranch near Geronimo, north of Seguin and about 35 miles east of San Antonio.

Police arrested and charged 26-year-old Alejandro Torres with the death. He was held without bond.

Authorities said Torres worked at the M.R.T Jewelers in Seguin, the last known stop for Zerovabeli, 38. The salesman last was seen there Feb. 21 between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. after making a sales call.

Police say he was carrying about $500,000 in jewels at the time of his disappearance.

He was supposed to arrive at his nephew’s home that evening but never showed up, never returned his rental car and did not make his scheduled return flight to New York.

”Right now … I will say that we have recovered a body, we have no positive ID, we are waiting for some dental records to be brought down,” Seguin Police Chief Gary Hopper told the AP.

Zerovabeli’s rental car was found in New Braunfels.

”At this point we are working three different scenes, really four different scenes. One where the vehicle was located, one where the body was buried, one where the murder occurred and one where the some of the evidence was secreted,” Texas Rangers Sgt. Tony Leal said to the AP.

San Antonio television station KSAT reported Torres had failed a polygraph test when asked about the case, then confessed and told investigators where to look for the body. Leal would not confirm or deny the information.

On Tuesday, the missing man’s family had boosted to $25,000 a cash reward for information on his whereabouts. At Torres’ store in Seguin, a poster announcing the reward was displayed in the front window.