Online investigators say do your research or hire them

GRANGER, Ind.-- When meeting someone online, it is recommended you do some research on the person. One persistent woman took all the right steps to check into Ray Holycross' stories, according to an online investigator. 

Shawntel Gerick is no stranger to digging up information, but this time, her Google results blew her away. 

"If I think you're lying to me, I'm going to search it out," said Gerick, friend of victim.

Her friend Theresa Bridegrooms' boyfriend appeared harmless at first.

"Everything he said on the surface sounded amazing, it sounded great. I was like 'Oh! Sounds like a great guy.''

But something triggered her intuition. She started checking the web, but turned up nothing using Holycross' fake name.

"I mean he said he worked for the Huffington Post, he said he designed some toilet paper thing for Battlestar Gallactica," said Gerick.

Online investigators say Gerick took all the right steps. 

"I would just say that she was relentless, she didn't give up," said Integrity Investigations, Inc. "And every bit of information that she was able to gather from the individual, anything that he said to here- then she just basically kept documentation of that."

Something Integrity Investigations does for its clients. Validation of online information is imperative.

"Some people will say well I dont want to spend a couple hundred dollars to do a background check on this individual or I dont want to actually hire somebody to help me do this. But ultimately you have to think 'what is the cost of my life?'"

Thankfully this victim's friend dug up the information for her. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky and investigators say dating sites won't look out for your safety.

"You're putting yourself at risk. You're putting your family at risk. If you have children your children are at risk so it's a necessity. And if you choose to do online dating then you need to do the follow-up as well," said Integrity Investigations, Inc.

Ordering a background check could make all the difference.

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