(FOX NEWS) - Unlike singles in the '70s, who cruised bars and discos and risked looking for love in all the wrong places, tens of millions of singles each day join and log on to online dating sites with the belief that their efforts to find love and companionship are safe and secure.
But the apparent murder and dismemberment of Ingrid Lyne, a 40-year-old Seattle-area mother of three, has sent shockwaves throughout the cyber-romance world, with many begging the question: Is anyone safe?
Lyne disappeared last Friday after leaving to meet a date, who police identified as John Robert Charlton, 37. Her ex-husband reported her missing on Saturday — and a dismembered body, including a severed head and foot tentatively identified as Lyne's, were discovered Monday in a recycling bin in Seattle’s Central District. Friends said Lyne met Charlton a few months earlier through an as-yet-unnamed online dating site. Charlton reportedly has a lengthy rap sheet, including misdemeanor assaults — but it’s unlikely his dating profile mentioned that detail.
So, how do you protect yourself when you try online dating? Bruce Anderson, director of Cyber Intelligence & Investigations, encourages cyber-daters to conduct a background check.