HPD seeks tie in 2 deaths, 1 an Iranian activist

Coty Beavers (left) was discovered dead this week of multiple gunshot wounds in his apartment. Gelareh Bagherzadeh (right) was shot to death in January inside her car just feet from her parents' townhome in the Galleria. Police say Beavers was the twin brother of Cory Beavers, Bagherzadeh's boyfriend and the last person to see her alive.
November 17, 2012 9:00:37 PM PST
Houston police are investigating whether there is a link between the killing of an Iranian activist nearly a year ago and the more recent shooting death of her boyfriend's twin brother.

Coty Beavers and Gelareh Bagherzadeh were murdered nearly ten months apart, but new information has many wondering if the same person could be responsible.

"Everybody starts thinking, and they say maybe it's connected because they knew each other," Bagherzadeh's friend Kathy Soltani told us.

Beavers, 28, was found dead in his northwest Houston apartment Monday afternoon. Authorities say he was shot multiple times. According to officials, Beavers was last seen at 5:45am as he returned to his apartment after walking his wife to her vehicle. Investigators haven't identified any motives or suspects.

Back in January, 30-year-old Bagherzadeh was murdered as she was driving home from a study session. Police have said Bagherzadeh was talking on her cell phone when she was killed. Nothing was taken from her car.

Bagherzadeh's death has garnered international attention because she was an outspoken critic of the Iranian government and converted to Christianity just before her death. Police say no evidence has been found linking her death to her background or political views, though they continue to explore that possibility.

The last person to see Bagherzadeh alive was her boyfriend -- Cory Beavers, Coty Beavers' twin.

Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman Thomas Gilliland says investigators have not yet found a connection between Beavers' death and the killing of Bagherzadeh. He says they are pursuing leads.

"This was one at his apartment and my friend was killed behind her home, so there must be some motive behind all this," Soltani said.

Even as some wonder if both murders are linked to Bagherzadeh's role as an activist, her friends and family continue her work.

"Why should we be scared?" Soltani asked. "I mean, fear is your worst enemy, so I think being quiet -- especially for us outside of Iran -- is a shame."

You can read more about Bagherzadeh and the case at onlyjustice.org, a website her created by her family.

There is currently a $200,000 reward for information called in to 713-222-TIPS that leads to an arrest or filing of felony charges in the murder of Bagherzadeh. It's the largest reward in Crime Stoppers history.

There is also a $5,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest and charges in Coty Beavers' case. Anyone with information on his murder is urged to call the HCSO homicide unit at 713-967-5810 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.


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