Harris County sheriff's officials and Houston police are searching for a link between the January shooting death of a medical student and Iranian-born activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh and the murder of her boyfriend's twin brother, Coty Beavers, who was found dead in his apartment from multiple gunshot wounds early last week.
As a founding member of SabzHouston — an organization pushing for democratic change in Iran — 30-year-old Bagherzadeh was a vocal critic of the ruling government in her native country.
The recent death of Coty Beavers — whose brother Cory was the last to see Gelareh Bagherzadeh alive — adds a new layer of mystery.
In the last 10 months, however, investigations led by the Houston Police Department have failed to uncover any political motivations for her death. At a press conference following the incident, the victim's brother, Ali Bagherzadeh, told reporters that friends and family don't believe the shooting was a political matter. The case remains unsolved.
The recent death of Coty Beavers — whose brother Cory was the last to see Gelareh Bagherzadeh alive — adds a new layer of mystery. His body was discovered at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 inside his northwest Houston apartment at 10801 Legacy Park Drive.
Beavers was last seen walking his wife to her car at 5:45 that morning.
Officials from the Harris County Sheriff's Office told CultureMap on Tuesday that homicide investigators have yet to find a connection between the two murders. No motive has surfaced.
In light of the new shooting, sources close to the victims' families suspect the incidents could be tied to religion, noting that Gelareh Bagherzadeh and Coty Beavers' wife were relatively recent Christian converts.
Given the lack of physical evidence in both crimes and the professional nature with which they were carried out, friends and family suspect the murders were purposefully arranged.
Given the lack of physical evidence in both crimes and the almost professional nature with which they were carried out, many friends and family believe the murders were purposefully arranged.
A close friend of the Bagherzadeh, who wished to remain unnamed, fears something akin to an honor killing while others are suspicious about the timing of Bagherzadeh's death, which occurred just weeks after a patent lawsuit yielded her father upwards of $5.8 million.
Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a $200,000 award —the largest in its history — for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved in Bagherzadeh case. A $5,000 award is currently on the table for the information about the Beavers murder.