CHICAGO (CBS)–They were looking for love, but instead they found danger lurking on the internet.
Two women say they were harassed by the same man online, and DeKalb police are calling him a serial stalker.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker went to the alleged stalker’s home and found his father, who identified the man in a photo he was shown as his son.
“That’s my oldest son, is he wanted in five states or what’s going on?” the father joked.
“He is wanted,” Tucker said.
DeKalb police said they want to talk to him for allegedly stalking women on dating apps.
A report describes how several attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.
He called himself “Jay” on a dating app.
Marybeth Kurnat liked his message.
“He sent me a message first,” Kurnat said. “It was chivalrous writing, like very polite, very well constructed, inquisitive.”
They communicated off and on for a couple of hours and then “Jay” asked for Kurnat’s phone number.
“I was like, ‘you know my rule is you gotta survive to date number two to get the digits,'” she said.
But five minutes later, a text message came in from an unknown number.
He had somehow found her number and texted her.
“So he had found my information, and then he said like, ‘you live close to my friend,'” Kurnat said. “‘You’re my friend’s neighbor.'”
Concerned for her safety, Kurnat blocked “Jay” on the app, but that didn’t stop him.
Over the next 48 hours, Kurnat says the man reached out three more times.
“He just hit me up again with a different account,” she said.
He started contacting her under new accounts, but all of them had the same photo.
“I was shaking in my boots,” she said. “My heart was pounding out of my chest.”
Kurnat filed a police report about the harassment and then posted about her frightening encounter on Facebook.
That’s when she learned she was not the only victim.
Between five and eight women reached out to her to say the same thing had happened to them.
Ashley Davis saw Kurnat’s post.
“Right before I went to Dublin, that’s when he messaged me on my cell phone,” Davis said.
She said she didn’t know whose number it was, so she started joking around, typing back, “New phone, who dis’?”
The person who texted her identified himself as “John.”
He sent Davis the same picture Kurnat had posted on Facebook.
“I sent her the screenshots of my conversation with him like, this is the same guy,” Davis said.
“He all of a sudden started threatening me,” she said. “The texts were saying, I know what apartment you are in, you need to be careful what you do.”
Neither Davis or Kurnat ever met him in person, but another woman we spoke to by phone knows the man in the photo well and says he used to work in IT at Northern Illinois University, where Kurnat graduated from and Davis once lived nearby.
He knows how to use the internet as a tool and a resource, the woman said.
His father says his son is no stalker.
“He’s a good boy,” his father said.
DeKalb police are still looking for the man on the app.
The women met the man on several different apps, and each has different policies in place to report stalking.