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Friday
Nov182011

Fla. Man Murdered in Ohio in Alleged Craigslist Job Scam, Two Arrested

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(CALDWELL, Ohio) -- An apparent job-seeking scam on Craigslist has left one man dead and another man injured. Two men have been arrested in Ohio for the crimes.

The two victims, one from Florida and one from South Carolina, responded to an ad on Craigslist for a job working on an Ohio cattle farm, according to ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV. The men were told to bring all of their belongings, as they would be living on the farm.

The man from South Carolina was shot, but managed to escape and inform authorities. As police investigated the shooting, they found the body of a missing man from Florida in a shallow grave outside Caldwell, Ohio, about 80 miles east Columbus. Authorities believe robbery was the motive.

Authorities took two suspects into custody on Wednesday, but would not release their names. ABC News' Columbus affiliate WSYX identified the men as 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty and 52-year-old Richard Beasley.

Beasley's mother, Carol Beasley, 70, told ABC News that she was shocked when she picked up her newspaper Friday morning and read about the murder. Though the paper did not specifically name her son, it identified a 52-year-old man from Noble County who was arrested Wednesday, just like her son was.

"In my wildest dreams, I just couldn't imagine him harming someone," Beasley said. "I never imagined he would do the things he did."

She knew her son had been arrested Wednesday morning as he walked down the street but believed it was related to failure to appear in court for two previous charges -- aggravated trafficking in drugs and compelling prostitution.

When asked about Brogan Rafferty, Beasley said that she has known him since he was 8 years old, since they go to the same church. Beasley called Brogan a "really nice kid" and said he struggled a bit in school and with his parent's divorce.

"They were friends," Beasley said. "Richard tried to mentor him, get him into history."

Beasley said her son had been struggling financially to make ends meet, working as an unpaid chaplain, and had other problems. She said he had spent time in jail and desperately did not want to go back.

Rafferty is being held at the Muskingum County Juvenile Detention Center, and Beasley is in custody at the Summit County Jail on a $1 million bond.

On Friday, a judge imposed a gag order so that no further information about the case could be released. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, but the results have not yet been released.

Craigslist, an online marketplace that hosts ads for a wide variety of sales and services, has been blamed for a number of crimes and deaths, including the 2009 murder of a New York masseuse allegedly killed by a Boston medical student she met through the website, and the 2010 murder of a Tacoma, Wash., man in a home robbery committed by people pretending to be interested in a diamond ring he'd advertised on Craigslist.

Craigslist did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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