Julio Ramirez was found dead in the back of a taxi after leaving a gay bar in Manhattan, New York City with three unidentified men.
Content warning: This story includes topics that could make some readers uncomfortable.
Footage from nearby CCTV cameras shows Julio walking away from the Ritz Bar and Lounge at 3:17am on 21 April with the men, NBC News reported.
The group then got into a taxi together and, at 4:10am, the driver approached a police officer in the Lower East Side (three miles away from the venue) to report that Julio, now alone in the vehicle, was unresponsive.
Following efforts to save his life, the 25-year-old social worker was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital at 4:49am.
Although the official cause of his death is pending further investigation, the medical examiner stated that a “possible drug overdose” is being considered.
Julio’s phone and wallet were reportedly no longer with him when he was found and his brother, Carlos Ramirez, said $20,000 was taken and that his Apple iCloud password had been changed – though the NYPD is yet to confirm this.
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“They had literally taken every dollar that he had, all his savings and all of his money,” he told the aforementioned outlet.
Julio’s friends and family buried him at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York on 30 April, with a memorial service taking place in Buffalo on 14 May.
Those who knew him are now using social media to demand “justice for Julio,” NBC News reported.
A 9 May Instagram post read: “We urge you to raise awareness on the death of Julio Cesar Ramirez, to give a voice to gay Latino men who are victims of the crime in this city and to seek justice for the loved ones he left behind.
“Julio’s story needs to be heard.”
The investigation into Julio’s death remains ongoing.