Two Texas men who were killed earlier this year may have been lured to their deaths by an online dating app used by the pair's killers, investigators said Monday.
Harris County sheriff’s investigators said the app, which was not named, might have been used to entice Glenser Soliman, 44, and An Vinh Nguyen, 26, The Houston Chronicle reported.
Soliman, a nurse at St. Luke’s Medical Center, was found dead a few miles from his residence on Feb. 25 after being declared missing on Feb. 16. Nguyen, a student studying hotel and restaurant management at the University of Houston, has not been seen since March 31. Deputies believe the student is dead, but his body has not been found.
The two victims' cars were found in Spring, a census-designated place of Houston in Harris County. Nguyen’s credit cards were stolen but it was not clear if anything was taken from Soliman.
“It is possible that there were other victims, or victims that did get away who could give us more information,” Mike Ritchie, the lead investigator, said Monday.
Investigators have asked the public for help with any additional information.
There have been two suspects named in the case; cousins Brandon Alexander Lyons, 18, and Jerrett Jamal Allen, 26. The two roomed together in the Spring area.
Lyons was charged with capital murder after being accused of choking Soliman and hitting the man with an unidentified object. He has been in Harris County Jail since April after he was charged with stealing the slain nurse’s car.
Allen has been “sought on a charge of unlawfully using the student’s credit cards,” detectives said. He was last seen in El Paso in April.
Investigators said the two men could have been murdered by serial killers, but robbery has been cited as the probable motive, Ritchie said.
Chief Deputy Edison Toquica and Ritchie have cautioned people who use dating apps, chat rooms, etc. to meet up in a public area or bring a friend or family member when meeting a stranger. They also advised people against gathering at the person’s home.
Soliman was found dead a few miles from his residence and police said they did not find any disorder in his house or indications of a break-in. But a friend of the nurse said the man’s bedroom was disorganized, which was unusual for Soliman.
Nguyen’s family reported the student missing April 1 after they could not reach him.
"He's very close to his family," Ritchie said. "They're tight-knit; they talk often. He had a job interview in Florida just a few days before he disappeared and he did not show up for that job interview. So he had a lot of things going for him, was a U of H student, a good family person and this is unlike him."
The murders follow a case in Dallas where four men were accused of making a hoax Grindr account to perpetrate at least four home-invasion robberies in the surrounding Dallas area. Grindr is an online dating application used by gay and bisexual men.