Man robbed and strangled to death after Grindr hook-up goes horribly wrong
A gay man was strangled, killed and had his body doused in bleach by a man he met on Grindr, police believe.
Victor Najera Betanzos was found dead in his apartment in Houston, Texas, last week. Prosecutors found that his truck, iPad and iPhone had been stolen.
Benjamin Davis, 29, was spotted driving Betanzos’ stolen truck on Saturday (20 February) and he was arrested by investigating officers, according to Click 2 Houston.
Davis told police that he joined Grindr after hearing that it was a good place to find people to rob.
He struck up a conversation with Betanzos on the gay dating app, and the pair arranged to meet for sex at the victim’s apartment, police said.
However, Davis went to the apartment with the express intention of robbing his victim, they added. Once inside the apartment, he allegedly knocked Betanzos unconscious and used a scarf to strangle him.
Once Betanzos was dead, Davis allegedly doused the body in bleach in an effort to get rid of any evidence that could tie him to the crime scene. He then fled the scene, police said, taking some of Betanzos’ possessions and stealing his truck.
Davis has a history of violence, according to police. He previously served two years in prison in 2018 after he choked a family member. He is charged with capital murder and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Queer people urged to exercise caution on Grindr after shocking murder
“He learned from other individuals, people we don’t know, that it’s pretty easy to get into people’s homes on this app and rob them,” said Chandler Raine, assistant district attorney for Harris County.
Raine urged people to exercise caution when arranging hook-ups on dating apps.
“Really look at people before you allow them to come into your home,” he said.
In a statement, a spokesperson from Grindr said the company is “saddened” to learn of Betanzos’ death.
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“Grindr is committed to supporting a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive, and any account of violence is deeply troubling.
“Grindr also encourages users to be careful when interacting with people they do not know, and to report improper or illegal behaviour either within the app or directly via email to [email protected]”
Betanzos’ death comes just four months after 17-year-old Damarian Degrate, from Waco, Texas, was charged with murder after he allegedly shot three men he met on Grindr.
Degrate was alleged to have used the gay hook-up app to arrange three separate meetings with men in Waco, Texas, all on August 17, 2020.
When the men arrived, Degrate allegedly shot them — wounding two of them and killing one, 23-year-old Jonathan Breeding.
Related topics: Grindr