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News

MURDER IN MADRID: NJ-Born Tycoon Poisoned, Robbed In Hotel Room, Authorities Say

José Rosado
José Rosado Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

A New Jersey-born yacht company tycoon was robbed and killed by men he’d invited back to his luxury hotel room in Madrid, authorities there said.

Investigators at first believed that José Rosado, 43, died of natural causes after combining drugs and alcohol. Charges on his credit card led them in another direction, however.

Authorities in Madrid on Monday arrested two men accused of killing Rosado with a fatal dose of Ecstasy during a robbery at the luxurious Westin Palace Hotel on Oct. 29 and then going on a shopping spree with his AmEx card.

One of the defendants, from Morocco, had 17 prior arrests on his record. The other, a Romanian, had nine, authorities said. Both are charged with murder, violent robbery and fraud, they said.

Born in Newark, Rosado grew up in Puerto Rico. After graduating from the university there, he moved to Argentina for post-graduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires. He also lived in Vigo, Spain, in London and, most recently, in Miami with his partner of 13 years, Nicholas Young.

Rosado operated Spain’s biggest private shipbuilding and yacht-making company, Hijos de J. Barreras, before stepping down last year. He had “started a new business venture at the time of his death after a remarkable career as an executive in the marine, energy and bank,” according to his obituary.

The obituary touted Rosado’s “zest for life” and “passion to explore the world,” while recalling him as “bold, confident, and courageous, with a quick wit and uncanny ability to develop the deepest of relationships.

“He was kind and affectionate, and while he had no children of his own, was especially beloved as ‘Tio Jose’ by the many children in his life,” the obituary says.

Hotel security video reportedly shows Rosado and two or three men returning to the Westin that fateful October night. His body was found in his room the next day after Young, unable to reach him, contacted staff at the hotel built by Spanish King Alfonso XIII in 1912.

Rosado was likely killed in a “chemical submission” attempt after inviting his killers back to his room for sex, authorities in Madrid said. The Moroccan charged in the case had been involved in “similar events,” authorities said.

DNA recovered from the scene led to this week’s arrests, they said.

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