Watch out, online daters, your meet-up with a stranger you connected with online could be fatal.
Less than a week earlier, two other women were found dead in the truck of another car. With the two similar murders in quick succession, Detroit police believe they may be on the hunt for a serial killer.
Authorities discovered that three out of the four women were linked to sex-related advertisements on Backpage.com, a website including ads of Metro Detroit escorts offering exotic fantasies. The ads "specifically dealt with prearranged adult dating services," said Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee.
The women, all African-American, ranged in age from 23 to 29. The two women found on Christmas Day were burned beyond recognition, but were said to be 28 and 29. On Dec. 19, Demesha Hunt, 24, and Renisha Landers, 23, both of Detroit, were discovered at about 3 p.m.
At a news conference on Monday, Godbee warned that if you are thinking of meeting a person you are acquainted with only from the Internet, warn someone you know exactly when and where you plan to meet that person. Also make sure the meeting is in a public place.
"We felt it is imperative to alert the public that deciding to meet unknown persons via the Internet can be extremely dangerous," he said. "With the vast increase in the utilization of social media and the Internet, we must continue to be vigilant in identifying any website which may potentially pose a threat to individuals," he added.
The department is awaiting the medical examiner’s final report for the determination of the cause of death for each of the females.
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(Photo: AP Photo/The Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)