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By Josh Inocéncio
Authorities have arrested a second suspect in connection with the disappearances of two Houston-area gay men who were lured by their attackers on Grindr or another dating app.
Jerrett Jamal Allen, 26, was apprehended in Houma, Louisiana, on Sunday, Aug. 13, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Allen is charged with felony credit card abuse, and will be extradited to Harris County for further questioning.
Investigators believe Allen and his cousin Brandon Lyons, 18, are responsible for the murders of Glenser Soliman, a nurse at St. Luke’s Medical Center, and An Vinh Nguyen, a University of Houston student.
With Nguyen, the suspects lured him into an apartment complex before taking his credit cards and, presumably, killing him, Gilliland said.
Detectives found Soliman’s remains in the Spring area after his co-workers reported him missing in February. Lyons, who’s being held at the Harris County jail, is charged with capital murder in Soliman’s death. Authorities are still searching for Nguyen’s body, but Gilliland said they’re confident they’ll have enough evidence to charge Allen with capital murder as well.
Lyons and Allen aren’t currently suspects in any additional disappearances in the Houston area, Gilliland said and it’s unclear if the cases will be treated as hate crimes.
“The DA’s office will have to decide whether or not to enhance the case as a hate crime,” he said adding that Lyons and Allen may have singled out gay men because they believed they would make easier targets.
Gilliland also offered some advice for dating app users in the wake of the attacks.
“Meet in a public area first and never meet at your house or their house first,” he said. “It’s a shame, but that’s the age we live in now. People will take advantage.”
“Have a conversation first to find out who they are,” he added.
Gilliland also urged gay men not to fear law enforcement and to report any crimes related to the apps.