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LONDON/JEDDAH: Family and friends of a young Saudi student were in mourning on Wednesday after he was found murdered in his apartment in Miami, Florida. 

The body of Yasser Abualfaraj, 23, was discovered by his roommate on Sunday in a building opposite the University of Miami, where he was studying architecture.

Police have issued a photofit image of a young man seen in the area in the early hours of Sunday, who is wanted for “questioning only.”

“It’s an open investigation and we are working to find any witnesses who may have heard or seen anything at the time,” Det. Chris Thomas of Miami-Dade Police Department told Arab News.

He said the cause of death was unknown and the motive for the murder was unclear. The “investigation is still in the early stages,” Thomas added. 

The police announced a reward of $3,000 for anyone who can provide information that helps in the investigation.

The young man’s fellow students held a vigil in his memory on Monday, and architecture classes were cancelled as a mark of respect.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington said it was aware of the incident and was following the investigation, while providing all necessary support to the family.

Zainab Alsaihati, president of the Saudi Student Association at the University of Miami, said Abualfaraj was “always friendly to new students and helped them with joining clubs and activities. He got involved in volunteering campaigns like cleaning public spaces after Hurricane Irma.”

Abualfaraj’s friend, Mohammed Al-Shawa, told Arab News: “He was a kind, funny and loyal friend. If you knew him well, you would know how much of a good friend he is… I see him as my brother.”

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