By Karine Kalantarian
Law-enforcement authorities in Yerevan were investigating on Tuesday the mysterious murder of a U.S. citizen who was found dead outside his home the previous night.
The 33-year-old man, identified as Joshua Haglund, bled to death in the courtyard of his apartment block in the city center after sustaining serious stab wounds. His body also bore traces of severe beating.
Investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office in Yerevan questioned several individuals and carried out forensic tests, but have not yet arrested anyone in connection with the first-ever reported case of a murder of an American national in Armenia. One of the investigators told RFE/RL that the victim was apparently attacked by a “sharp cutting object” inside his apartment before leaving it and collapsing in the yard. The official declined to speculate on possible theories of the crime.
Elmira Harutiunian was among several local residents who found Haglund pleading for help shortly before midnight and called an ambulance. She said he uttered words in English which none of them could understand. “I could only say ‘What is your name?’ in English and he produced an ID which had a name and a surname of a U.S. embassy employee,” she said. “By the time the ambulance came he was dead.”
The witness claimed that police interrogators later told her that they found an open bottle of wine alongside three glasses in the American’s apartment.
The U.S. embassy in Yerevan declined any comment on the killing and it remained unclear whether Haglund had any connection with the diplomat mission. It was instead confirmed that he taught the English language at the state-run Armenian Linguistics University as part of an exchange program.
Some of Haglund’s acquaintances say that he was due to complete the one-year language course and return to the United States later this month.