Gabriela Kabrins was 'strangled by boyfriend in drug fueled sex session' 

Strangled: PR executive Gabriela Kabrins was found dead in Cape Town after an alleged drug and sex orgy that went wrong. She is believed to have been strangled, according to one of her relatives

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  • Gabriela Kabrins, 39, is believed to have been strangled, according to one of her relatives 
  • She was murdered inside her hotel room of five-star Cape Town hotel on Wednesday, police confirmed to Daily Mail Online
  • Boyfriend Diego Guarte, 41, appeared in court in Cape Town on Friday charged with murder in connection to her death
  • Investigators said they believe Kabrins was involved in a sex and drugs session that went wrong

 

The American marketing executive murdered at a Cape Town hotel is believed to have been strangled, according to one of her relatives.

Gabriela Kabrins, 39, was allegedly killed by Guatemalan Diego Guarte, 41, who appeared in Cape Town Magistrate's Court on a murder charge on Friday in connection to her death, News 24 reported.

Kabrins was found dead at five-star Camps Bay Retreat Boutique Hotel on Wednesday with a pound of cocaine in her room and Guarte was taken into custody wandering a nearby beach half naked. 

It was revealed that Guarte is able to speak English as he spoke to the front desk assistant when he checked into the hotel, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntzabalalila confirmed.  

 

Business woman: Gabriela Kabrins is pictured here with her friend and business partner, Martin Llorens. He has taken to Facebook to express his grief at his loss

Business woman: Gabriela Kabrins is pictured here with her friend and business partner, Martin Llorens. He has taken to Facebook to express his grief at his loss

Investigators have told the Daily Mail Online they believe Kabrins was involved in a sex and drugs session that went wrong. 

According to police, Kabrins had been the victim of a horrific sexual assault using a curling iron.

They also revealed a message had been smeared onto her body with her excrement.

Police believe that the pair traveled to Cape Town together and were in town for a possible drugs deal. 

The National Prosecuting Authority's Eric Ntabazalila said, 'I can confirm the suspect from Guatemala appeared in court on a charge of murder and more charges are likely to be made as the investigations continue.'

The Camps Bay hotel is described on its website as 'a sanctuary for the soul', which charges up to $6,900 per night for a room, with suites costing up to $10,000 per night.

Speaking to friends of Gabriela, the Daily Mail Online has learned that she left her home in Los Angeles a few weeks ago to spend time with Guarte in his home country of Guatemala before they traveled on to South Africa for a luxury break. 

Happier days: This picture of business partner Martin Llorens and Gabriela Kabrins dates from more than two years ago and shows them at a press event for Tide

Happier days: This picture of business partner Martin Llorens and Gabriela Kabrins dates from more than two years ago and shows them at a press event for Tide

West Coast home: The apartment building where Gabriela Kabrins lived with her two poodles is pictured here

West Coast home: The apartment building where Gabriela Kabrins lived with her two poodles is pictured here

Gabriela had told friends her mysterious Guatemalan boyfriend 'wasn't allowed to enter the U.S.' which sparked concerns among those close to her.

One friend, who asked not to be named, told Daily Mail Online: 'It sounded like Diego was a wealthy guy but something just wasn't right. Gabriela spent a lot of time down there but she told us that when she went out to walk the dogs she was surrounded by security.

'We can't say for sure, but we suspected he was some kind of drug dealer and with all that cocaine found in the hotel room in Cape Town maybe there's some truth to that.

'When we heard that she had flown to Guatemala and then on to South Africa that also sounded unlike Gabriela. She's a subdued lady, a homebody, jetting across the world wasn't something she did until she met Diego.'

Gabriela, who is fluent in Spanish, had met Guarte when she was younger but they had rekindled their friendship on social media two years ago.

Gabriela lives in a smart apartment building in West LA with her two poodles, which she moved in to when it first opened four years ago.

The marketing executive was found inside her hotel in Cape Town on Wednesday, as police said they have arrested a 41-year-old Guatemalan man

The marketing executive was found inside her hotel in Cape Town on Wednesday, as police said they have arrested a 41-year-old Guatemalan man

Scene: Personnel from Crime Scene Solutions are scene out front of the Camps Bay Retreat

Scene: Personnel from Crime Scene Solutions are scene out front of the Camps Bay Retreat

Police believe that the pair traveled to Cape Town together and were in town for a possible drugs deal

Police believe that the pair traveled to Cape Town together and were in town for a possible drugs deal

The Camps Bay hotel, shown above, is described on its website as 'a sanctuary for the soul'

The Camps Bay hotel, shown above, is described on its website as 'a sanctuary for the soul'

Opulence: The Camps Bay Retreat is one of Cape Town's most exclusive hotels and charges $6,900 a night for a room and $10,000 for a suite 

Opulence: The Camps Bay Retreat is one of Cape Town's most exclusive hotels and charges $6,900 a night for a room and $10,000 for a suite 

A friend and neighbor told Daily Mail Online that she 'loved' Guarte and looked forward to seeing him in Guatemala.

The friend, who asked not to be named, said: 'She was very much in love with him, she would spend months at a time with him in Guatemala. Last year I think she was there for five months.

'They met many years ago, I think at college, but have since reconnected on social media and started dating two years ago.

'She would talk about him a lot, but never said anything bad about him.'

The friend described Gabriela as a 'sweet lady' who was very 'caring'.

'She was very health conscious, she regularly took fitness classes and drank health juices a lot. She was close to her parents and would have family around at the apartment,' the friend said. 

The friend said: 'She lived a quiet life, she was dedicated to her work and wasn't a party animal at all. She was a very stylish lady, she had great taste.

'She worked from home but often would fly out to Miami where she did a lot of business.

'To hear cocaine was found in the hotel is very surprising to me, it just doesn't sound like her.'

Pricey: Police said that they discovered a pound of cocaine in the hotel room where Kabrins was found dead

Pricey: Police said that they discovered a pound of cocaine in the hotel room where Kabrins was found dead

High quality: Gabriela Kabrins and Diego Guarte were apparently frequently visitors to Cape Town according to South African police 

High quality: Gabriela Kabrins and Diego Guarte were apparently frequently visitors to Cape Town according to South African police 

Police are investigating the murder of American tourist Gabriela Kabrins Alban in Camps Bay (pictured). The 39-year-old's body was found at the boutique Camps Bay Retreat hotel on Wednesday afternoon

Police are investigating the murder of American tourist Gabriela Kabrins Alban in Camps Bay (pictured). The 39-year-old's body was found at the boutique Camps Bay Retreat hotel on Wednesday afternoon

 

The friend said she had spoken with Gabriela's father on Thursday night and said he is 'understandably upset' by the news.

'Gabriela's was his only daughter, he loved her very much. They are just trying to deal with this right now.'

The U.S. Embassy in South Africa said the killing occurred on Wednesday, but refused to give any more details about the case. 

The exclusive retreat where she died is one of Cape Town's premier hotels and its website states: 'Set on four acres of lush green nature reserve, with a mountain meditation pool, thickets of trees, waterfalls and streams, it is a peaceful paradise, where meditative moments are waiting to be had.

'A refuge for the body and a haven for the mind, you'll unravel and surrender to the tranquility.' 

Her friend and business partner, Martin Llorens, with whom she founded a Hispanic television and marketing venture posted a tribute to her on Facebook mourning the sudden death.

'My dear Gaby, Rest in Peace. Love you Forever. In Your Light I Learn Who I am. I will Always Treasure You. Martin.'

He later posted another tribute to his friend: 'I have loved you for a thousand years. I will love your for a thousand more.

'In memory for my friend, my partner, my teacher and my mentor, your soul rest in peace. I love you forever.'

Fit for a king or queen: The bathrooms at the Camps Bay Retreat offer the kind of luxury you would expect from a 5-star boutique hotel 

Fit for a king or queen: The bathrooms at the Camps Bay Retreat offer the kind of luxury you would expect from a 5-star boutique hotel 

The U.S. Embassy confirmed the death happened on Wednesday, but refused to give any more details (pictured, the beach in Camps Bay)

The U.S. Embassy confirmed the death happened on Wednesday, but refused to give any more details (pictured, the beach in Camps Bay)

The 39-year-old LA resident was a graduate of Pepperdine Universtiy in Malibu, California and founded and her own marketing and advertising firm, Conexión in 2002 with Martín Llorens. 

According to her LinkedIn profile, Kabrins was born and raised in LA and describes herself as being of Mexican descent.

Her work with Llorens is specifically designed to raise the profile of the Hispanic community in LA and with him founded her venture, 'Hola Martín: Estilo de Vida' in 2007.

The show appeared on the top rated Spanish language morning show 'Despierta America' on the Univision network.

However, last year it appeared that Kabrins fell into financial difficulties.

She broke her back in May of 2013 and the resulting medical bills left her strapped for cash.

In April of 2014 she told the Santa Monic Daily Press that she had every intention of paying her bill, but they were leaving her stretched.

According to IOL News, Rwexana added that the suspect is due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court once charges have been formulated.

And as the circumstances behind her tragic and violent death continue to emerge, friends and family struggled to comprehend their loss. 

Larry White
By Larry White 01/08/2015 13:31:00