Alleged 'Internet Casanova' con man tracked to Salt Lake City
PORTLAND, Ore. - A man who women say is conning them in an online dating scheme has been tracked to another state and another potential victim.
"Stephanie" in Salt Lake City, Utah told KVAL's Portland affiliate, KATU News that she opened her home to 29-year-old Ray Holycross. "Stephanie" said that Holycross told her he was mugged in Portland and had no money. Trusting her own intuition she searched for answers about who he really was and was shocked when she learned the truth.
A KATU News investigation showed how Holycross weaved his way from the Midwest to Portland using Internet dating sites to meet women and then steal from them.
Four different women told KATU News how Holycross stole things like credit cards from them.
Stephanie said she met Holycross on Couchsurfing.com, which is a website for people looking for a place to sleep. She said he was using the name "Ray Cross" - one of his known aliases.
"He sent me an emergency couch request stating he had been mugged in Portland, lost all of his belongings, needed help," Stephanie told KATU by phone Friday.
But she was savvy enough to do a Google search after learning he was really named Ray Holycross. She said Holycross watched on as numerous websites and a KATU.com story describing his Casanova con popped up.
She immediately kicked him out of her home and said Holycross told her the stories online were all lies started by a jealous ex-girlfriend.
"I said to him, 'I don't care what you are telling me whether this is true or not, you need to leave.' And he said, 'OK, let me go back to your place and get my things.' And I said, 'No, absolutely not. You need to leave.'"
Stephanie said Holycross left his backpack behind with two disposable phones inside. Also inside that backpack, she also found a receipt from USA Pawn & Jewelry Co. on Southeast 82nd and Powell in Portland showing Holycross pawned a stolen laptop there.
That laptop belonged to Jenn Clark whom Holycross lived with at a home in Cedar Mill.
Clark told KATU News Holycross talked her into selling her home, her car and everything else of real value because the two were supposed to move to Chicago together. Then Clark says Holycross took her laptop, her iPhone and almost a thousand dollars in cash and left town.
Stephanie said she also found a credit card receipt with another Portland-area victim's name on it. It's another piece of evidence she plans on turning over to police.
The women are all using the Internet against this "Internet Casanova," warning others on social networking and dating websites across the country about what Holycross is up to.
If you have a story for KATU's investigators, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.