Three individuals have been arrested in connection with the mysterious death of a California man who was last seen on a Tinder date in Medellin, Colombia, last November.
Paul Nguyen, 27, was found dead beside a garbage dump on Nov. 10, 2022, after going out with a woman he had met on the dating app. They first met the day before, with Nguyen taking a Snapchat photo of the woman.
Nguyen was last seen with the same woman at around 2 a.m. Two hours later, his credit cards made several odd transactions, including at a pharmacy whose cashier claimed that the buyer “was not Asian.”
On April 4, Colombian authorities announced the arrest of Nguyen’s alleged Tinder date, 21-year-old Evelyn Henao Herrera. Two alleged accomplices, César Augusto Mendoza López, 28, and Bryan Taborda Herrera, 25, were also apprehended.
The suspects, believed to be part of a gang, have been charged with aggravated homicide, robbery and conspiracy.
The case adds to a trend of similar crimes in Colombia in which victims, often tourists, are drugged before being robbed.
Police believe Nguyen was drugged with a sedative called clonazepam sometime during his date. A medico-legal opinion indicated that the tourist died from respiratory arrest.
Eric Hall, another U.S. citizen, reportedly fell victim to the same scheme in Medellin a year and a half earlier.
Unlike Nguyen, Hall lived to recount his experience and warn others.
“I don’t want people to think that this is just an issue with like sex tourists,” Hall, who is divorced and in his mid-50’s, told Vice World News. “I’m not a player. I’m not looking to hook up. I’ve had two girlfriends in four years.”
Hall has extensively traveled to Latin America as a member of the Motorrad Angels, an international biker charity that aims “to bring clean water and lifesaving medical and dental assistance to the world’s most vulnerable communities.”
He moved to Medellin during the pandemic.
In May 2021, Hall decided to meet someone from Tinder who “seemed nice and real.” He ended up having beer in her apartment, and three days later, he woke up having lost about $7,000.
Nguyen, for his part, was robbed of 35 million Colombian pesos (approximately $7,700) between Nov. 10 and Nov. 15, according to police. The amount included his phone, his watch and money from his credit cards.
Investigation into the case continues. A GoFundMe page organized by Nguyen’s sister, Amy Nguyen, raised $36,015.
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