A gay senior's home was set on fire
after he was murdered at the hands of a male escort he met on the
Alejandro Hernandez Rivera, 23, of
Vallejo, California pleaded not guilty last week to the murder of
Theodore Neff, 66, a retired gay man, reports the San Francisco-based
Bay Area Reporter.
Neff and Rivera met through an ad
listed in the adult services category of the classifieds website
Craigslist. Friends say they believe the relationship began in July
On December 3, authorities say the two
men got into an argument that turned violent, and Rivera allegedly
Afterwards, the escort returned to the
Bay Point townhouse to retrieve several items including a gold-plated
Nagahara flute worth $23,000 and set the house on fire.
Firefighters who were called to the
two-alarm fire at 10PM retrieved Neff's body but said he was already
dead. An autopsy revealed Neff died from strangulation.
Police investigators say they caught up
with Rivera when he attempted to sell the Nagahara flute to dealers
in New York and Boston. Several of Neff's flutes were found in
Dan Ashbrook, executive director of
Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, emphasized that seniors need
companionship too. He told the paper: “Just because you're a
senior doesn't mean you should be excluded from the [online dating]
technology. Do it with a lot of caution.”
Rivera is currently being held on a
$1.3 million bond and is scheduled to appear at a February 3 Contra
Costa County Superior Court hearing.