A Fairfax County grand jury indicted a Florida man yesterday on charges of killing and then stealing from a 46-year-old computer systems specialist whose body was found last week in his Fairfax apartment.
Jason E. Lee, 23, is charged in the June 11 slaying of Richard Gluckstern, who was asphyxiated, and in the alleged theft of Gluckstern's Honda, his Visa Platinum credit card and a Compaq computer owned by his employer, Freddie Mac.
Gluckstern's body was discovered June 14 in his apartment in the 12100 block of Elm Forest Way. Florida law enforcement officials arrested Lee on an unrelated warrant June 13, the day before the body was discovered.
Lee allegedly had some of Gluckstern's possessions when he was arrested in Belleview, Fla., on charges of violating probation.
Police said prosecutors will begin the extradition process to bring Lee back to Virginia. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. did not respond to a telephone message left yesterday at his office.
Lee, of Ocala, Fla., faces murder, grand larceny and credit card theft charges in Fairfax. Officials had said Lee's probation stemmed from a conviction in 2004 for grand theft and forgery. Lee was convicted of battery in 2002.
"If he doesn't fight extradition, if he wants to come back here, it could take up to a week," said Officer Shelley Broderick, a Fairfax police spokeswoman. "If he fights, it could take up to a month."
At the time Gluckstern's body was found, Fairfax police said they made the discovery after they were contacted by his worried mother and Florida law enforcement officials. But yesterday, Gluckstern's colleagues said it took considerably more effort to convince Fairfax police that their friend might have met with foul play.
Yesterday, Fairfax police confirmed that a police officer tacked a note early last Tuesday on Gluckstern's door to notify him that Florida authorities had his car and wallet. Worried colleagues discovered the note and asked police to search the apartment. A patrol officer was sent to the home and searched the apartment but found no signs of a struggle -- or a body.
Police said additional conversations with homicide detectives in Florida, as well as with the victim's mother and colleagues, compelled Fairfax detectives to go to the apartment, where officials said it took two more sweeps for Gluckstern's body to be discovered.
"His body was not readily accessible," said county police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings, who declined to say where it was found.
Dennis Mayer, who worked with Gluckstern at Freddie Mac, said he had come to know him well during the past three years. Yesterday, he was still trying to understand what happened to Gluckstern. "He will always be the nicest guy I ever met in my life," Mayer said.
Friends described Gluckstern as genuinely nice. According to teammates at his jiujitsu club, he always said hello and goodbye to them.
Although he was out of shape when he joined the team a year and a half ago and seemed to lack natural athleticism, they said, he showed up for Saturday practices without fail, drawn to the camaraderie.
"I don't think I'm alone when I say I had a lot of respect for his determination and commitment," teammate Chris Doscher wrote on the club's Web site. "What he lacked in ability he more than made up for with his heart and by providing constant encouragement to the rest of us. A person with those traits can be a lot harder to find than someone with athletic ability. . . . His departure leaves a void that will be difficult to fill."
Staff writer Tom Jackman contributed to this report.