Three gay men, all middle aged, have been found strangled to death in New York City since Jan. 26, stoking fears in the LGBT community, reported the New York Daily News.
Authorities say the deaths do not seem to be connected but are instructing people to be careful when meeting others for the first time.
The most recent victim was found dead at a motel on Saturday in Elmhurst, Queens. The other two were found in their respective apartments, one in Queens and one in Manhattan.
Two of the men potentially met their attackers online.
Violence in the LGBT community rose 13 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to the New York City Anti-Violence Project. The group’s director told the NYDN that she has seen an increase in reports of violence during pick-ups, when two people go home after a first meeting, either in person or online. “Let people know who you are going to meet, where you are going to meet and meet in a public place,” she said.