Engineer's Death Possibly Linked to Online Meeting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A young engineer fatally bludgeoned in a crime-ridden city near Philadelphia may have been killed after connecting with someone on social media, a prosecutor says.

    Investigators hope to learn if 25-year-old Dino Dizdarevic went to Chester to see someone he met online, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whalen said Tuesday. Police haven't yet accessed a phone they recovered with the body Thursday because of its password.

    Whalen does not believe Dizdarevic was familiar with Chester, a small city that's long battled corner drug markets and violent crime. The bludgeoning death is not typical of the city's drug-related slayings, he said.

    "There's a lot of aspects to this case that don't fit the mold," Whalen said.

    Police are analyzing the victim's laptop and talking to friends, including a roommate in Philadelphia, about his routines and online contacts. The death follows a string of robberies, and at least one assault, involving victims looking to arrange a date or buy merchandise online in the Philadelphia area.

    "This is, of course, a horrendous type of situation, where the person's murdered in the process and not just robbed," Whelan said.

    Dizdarevic had come to the U.S. as a child with his family from war-torn Bosnia.

    "Dino would translate for us, this little 7-year-old boy," said the Rev. Russell Rechenbach, who was then pastor of the White Oak Pond Church in Richmond, Ky., which sponsored the family. "He was just brilliant, and the nicest fellow in the world."

    Dizdarevic moved to Philadelphia in September to start a chemical engineering job. He was planning to fly home to visit his family Thursday, the day he went missing.