25-year-old man's mysterious death sparks gathering in Hell's Kitchen

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A gathering was held in Hell's Kitchen Wednesday night, as family and friends search for answers in the mysterious death of a 25-year-old man found dead in the back of a cab.

What happened to Julio Ramirez? It's a question Karinina Quimpo asks daily, now more than a month since the 25-year-old social worker from Long Island was found dead in the back of a cab.

Quimpo says that Ramirez was her best friend.

"I'm a New Yorker, I think that people get targeted just because they're an opportunity to get robbed," Quimpo said.

Early in the morning of April 21, she says Ramirez, originally from Long Island, had been at a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen and reportedly was seen getting in a cab with three other men.

Just over an hour later, on the Lower East Side, the other passengers were gone, and Ramirez was dead.

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"A couple of days after Julio's death, his brother Carlos went into his laptop to try to find some answers and he discovered that thousands of dollars were transferred out of Julio's account after his death," Quimpo said. "And that was very suspicious he brought that to the detectives and from what I understand they're working on that."

The family fears he was drugged, though the initial toxicology screen came back negative. The police have released nothing, publicly.
But with Hell's Kitchen now kicking off Pride month, others in the LGBT community lit candles and marched Wednesday night from the bar to the middle of a bustling Times Square.

They don't know what happened to Ramirez, but many say they can relate to the fear of being targeted for money, or worse.

"It's pride, it's every day, make sure you're in a state that you know what's going on, where you're going, who you're talking to, reach out to anyone you need to help," Hell's Kitchen resident Graig Lynn said.

Police haven't said if they believe Ramirez was the victim of violence, or of any foul play at all, but they are asking for tips from the public, as they try to explain the mystery of what happened to Julio Ramirez.


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