News » Crime

25-Year-Old Gay Man Found Dead in Cab after Leaving NYC Club with 3 Men

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday June 5, 2022
Originally published on May 31, 2022

25-year-old Julio Ramirez left a gay club in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood with three other men. Not long after, he was found dead in a taxi. A few days later, money disappeared from his bank accounts, according to the New York Post.

"Security footage, taken in the early hours of April 21, shows Julio walking away from the Ritz Bar and Lounge, a gay dance club, with three unknown men," the story detailed, going on to say that the "three men made their way into a taxi together at around 3:17 am."

"However, about three miles away from the venue and nearly one hour later, Julio was unresponsive and alone in the backseat of the vehicle." His wallet and phone were missing.

But the story grew more sinister when Ramirez' brother Carlos "noticed a changed Apple iCloud password and strange money transfers in his brother's emails," with an estimated $20,000 being "taken from his brother through apps like Apple Pay and Zelle," the Post said.

NBC News offered more details, noting that Ramirez "was a frequent visitor to Hell's Kitchen, which, along with its southern neighbor, Chelsea, reportedly has the highest concentration of LGBTQ bars and resources in the city..."

On the night in question, Ramirez met up with a friend, and the two "visited three venues all within a half-mile of each other: Rise Bar, a gay cocktail lounge; Mickey Spillane's, a bar and restaurant; and, finally, Ritz Bar and Lounge."

The two became separated, though they continued to text with one another. The following afternoon, the friend texted Ramirez again, and saw that the text "had been 'read,'" NBC News relayed, despite the fact that Ramirez "had been pronounced dead more than seven hours earlier."

According to NBC News, Carlos "believes his brother may have been drugged and robbed that night in a targeted attack." Carlos described security camera video that purportedly shows his brother "walking away from the bar with two men, and as they turn the corner, a third man follows behind them."

The article went on to add: "In the weeks following his mysterious death, his loved ones have been trying to raise awareness about his story as they wait for additional information from the NYPD and the city's medical examiner."

"Based on the limited information they've pieced together, Carlos Ramirez and at least one of his brother's friends, Karinina Quimpo, speculated that Julio Ramirez may have been slipped gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, also known as the 'date rape drug,'" NBC News said — although, the article added, "Neither the police nor the medical examiner has indicated Julio Ramirez ingested GHB prior to his death."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.