An Atlanta, Georgia police officer was recently arrested and charged after he met a woman online, then kidnapped her, set her on fire and shot her in the head.
Officer Tahreem Zeus Rana was said to have met up with the woman after online email exchanges, according to Hapeville Police Chief Richard Glavosek.
Glavosek told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it was Vernicia Woodard’s phone records which led them to Rana.
After pinpointing these records, detectives then located Woodard’s posting on the website Backpage.com, a website similar to CraigsList, Glavosek explained.
Officers arrested Rana at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, according to local Channel 2 News. He was on his way to Monterrey, Mexico, where it is believed he planned to connect to flee to India. But as it turned out, Officer Rana was on the no-fly list.
Rana was booked into the Fulton County jail on charges of murder, arson, kidnapping as well as tampering with evidence.
The lead detective on the case, Stephen Cushing, said that investigating the officers has been surreal because of the young man’s life-long ambitions to become a police officer.
“I’ve been a police officer in the city of Hapeville for 15 years and actually saw this young man grow up and heard him say, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a police officer,” Cushing recounted.
Frighteningly, over past the three years on the force, Rana’s evaluations described him as effective to highly effective in performance. Department documents say he faced little to no disciplinary actions over the course of his now dead career.
Spokesman for the police department, Carlos Campos, described the department as “shocked and saddened.”
“These clearly are very disturbing allegations,” he continued. “We must allow the justice system to run its course.”