People need to realize that meeting strangers off of the internet can be harmless or potentially deadly. A police officer by the name of Tahreem Zeus Rana, from Atlanta, murdered 26-years-old Vernicia Woodard. The pair started having conversations over the internet and decided to meet each other in person. Tahreem Zeus Rana was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday because he was trying to flee to Mexico, according to CBS46.com.
Police were smart enough to allow Tahreem, who was placed on a no-fly list, to go through airport security to ensure he didn’t have a gun, then officers began to arrest him.
Tahreem Zeus Rana was with the Atlanta Police Department for over three years. He will be facing serious murder, kidnapping, and arson charges.
“We are shocked and saddened by these developments. The officer has been relieved from duty, and is in a non-enforcement status. Chief Turner will schedule an emergency hearing immediately today to determine the next course of action. We must allow the justice system to run its course. But these clearly are very disturbing allegations that are not in line with the expectations we have for our officers, and will be immediately dealt with,” said APD Public Affairs Director Carlos Campos.
Woodward, who recently moved to Atlanta from New York. She was linked to Rana through her phone records, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The two appear to have met on Backpage.com, a classified ad website that is often used to facilitate romantic encounters.
Hapeville police said her body was found by a city employee Aug. 22. She had been shot several times and set on fire.
“First he took her to a secluded area to do the crime and then after killing her, he used some kind of fuel to light the body on fire in order to cover up any type of evidence that may be there,” Hapeville Police Detective Stephen Cushing told WGCL.
WSB reports that Woodward has an 8-year-old daughter.
“It hurts a lot more to know that it was somebody in law enforcement,” the victim’s sister, Tashara Gilyard, told the station.
Tahreem Zeus Rana appeared in court last Friday.