An Atlanta police officer is now behind bars after he killed a woman he met online, and then set her body on fire to cover his tracks.

Tahreem Zeus Rana was arrested Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, when he was apparently trying to leave the country. Rana has been an Atlanta cop for the last three years. He’s now facing  murder, kidnapping and arson charges, police said.


From The Huffington Post:

The victim is 26-year-old Vernicia Woodward, who recently moved to Atlanta from New York. She was linked to Rana through her phone records, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The two appear to have met on Backpage.com, a classified ad website that is often used to facilitate romantic encounters.

Hapeville police said her body was found by a city employee Aug. 22. She had been shot several times and set on fire.

“First he took her to a secluded area to do the crime and then after killing her, he used some kind of fuel to light the body on fire in order to cover up any type of evidence that may be there,” Hapeville Police Detective Stephen Cushing told WGCL.

WSB reports that Woodward has an 8-year-old daughter.

It hurts a lot more to know that it was somebody in law enforcement,” the victim’s sister, Tashara Gilyard, told the station.


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  • TT

    This story is very scary. In my past, I was stupid and met someone from craigslist and brought that person back to my apartment. However I was lucky; he was very nice and did not try to harm me. This is a cautionary story to anyone who meets people from online websites. I’m not against online dating but you need be very careful.

    • EbonyLolita

      Not gonna lie In my EARLY 20s I used to do the same. Thank JESUS I met decent folks. Even tho I always told two friends who I was allegedly meeting, where I was going & what type of car they drove ANYTHING could have happened. This is frightening.

  • CeeCee

    Omg. This story reminds me of that show on Netflix, where a cop covered up all of his killings of young girls. She probably thought that she could trust him because he was a police officer. It seems like every other week, there is a story of a police officer beating his wife or killing his family on the news. This story is so scary.

  • This is scary and unfortunate, I pray for her and her family. Women need to be very cautious when dating.

  • Curvesgaloree

    online or not people are just disgusting and crazy what a horrible way to die

  • MM

    Article is slightly misleading as Backpages is not your typical dating sight if you know what I mean. But still very sad for this woman and her family and scary that someone that is a police officer is a closet sociopath.