Murder of Minnesota woman using dating app sparks caution

Published: Nov. 8, 2019 at 5:41 PM CST
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Murder charges against a Minnesota man may be a warning about the possible dangers of using online dating applications.

They're becoming more popular, especially among Millennials and Generation Z.

Joshua Emil Karjala, 34, is charged with murdering a woman in Atkins County, Minnesota.

According to court documents, Karjala strangled the victim, Michelle Mae, to death.

Her body was found in a crawl space below his home.

Investigators said the pair met on the dating app “Plenty of Fish.”

Mae's body was found two weeks after she was reported missing.

For law enforcement, this case serves as a reminder to be wary of who you meet on dating applications.

Students at North Dakota State University have mixed opinions on the dangers of using such apps.

“The experience using the dating app has actually been actually pretty good. I'm just a young guy, use Tinder,” Sean Adams, a student at NDSU, said.

Maia Jackson, a user, approaches them with caution.

“You learn just what to look out for,” Jackson said. “There's a lot of discourse on other social media sites about like funny things people will put on their profiles. You just try to like stay alert I guess.”

Overall, Jackson said her experience has been positive.

“My experience wasn't that fulfilling,” Nathaniel Adams said. “I didn't really have that much enjoyment with it. It was kind of more for the entertainment.

Police advise a person to be very cautious when dating someone online. For your first meeting do so in a public place.

Another tip from law enforcement is to do a background search of the person online and tell your family or friends where you'll be, when meeting someone in person.

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