A Louisiana man was killed after attempting to sell a dirt bike from Facebook Marketplace, authorities said.
The victim, 29-year-old Joseph Vindel of New Orleans, left his home around 10 a.m. over the weekend to meet with the buyer, who is also the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Jalen Harvey, at an apartment complex in the town of Harvey to sell the bike, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said during a news conference.
Vindel had listed the motorbike for $2,700 on Facebook Marketplace, and was never seen alive again after meeting with the alleged buyer.
On Monday, Vindel was found dead in his vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. Lopinto said Harvey had driven Vindel’s car back to New Orleans and abandoned it with Vindel’s body still inside, and rode the dirt bike home.
Harvey was arrested on Monday and allegedly telling investigators during an interview that he shot Vindel, abandoned the vehicle, and took the dirt bike back to his apartment in Harvey.
“He is in custody. We are seeking a first-degree murder warrant,” Lopinto told reporters at the briefing, adding that he believes the warrant has already been signed and presented to the commissioner.
The victim’s girlfriend also shared a post on Facebook, saying her boyfriend had been missing for about 24 hours after meeting with someone who wanted to buy his dirt bike.
“My boyfriend went through FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE TULANE CLASSIFIEDS to sell his dirt bike and went to Harvey, LA to sell to a person and he has been missing for almost 24hrs,” she wrote, adding a picture of Vindel.
His family reported him as missing after they were unable to make contact with him for several hours.
Lindsey Vindel, the father of the victim, told local New Orleans news agency WWL-TV on Monday his son “was loved by everyone and didn’t deserve this.”
Detectives are still working toward a motive on what prompted Harvey to kill Vindel.
Lopinto said nobody should get shot over a dirt bike, while also telling people selling items via any social media app to take caution.
“Thousands of transactions happen in this area every single day, so it is a big business now,” the sheriff said. “When you think about the number of sales that are going through, it is not necessarily unsafe, but still in that activity, we had two armed robberies, one simple robbery, two thefts, and now homicide connected to these marketplace sales.”
“Look, if it doesn’t feel right, get out,” he continued. “The fact of it is, you can choose your location of where you’re gonna be, and if they’re not showing up there for whatever reason, there’s somebody else you can sell it to.”
Officials said trying to meet close to a police station when selling an item or around other well-lit areas is the best choice.