Slain woman's family speaks out


Tuesday, February 12th 2008, 2:50 pm
By: News 9


By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

A metro family is encouraging people to be safe online after police said a Norman woman was killed by a man she met online.

Donna Louise Riles, 36, was shot twice in the head, said Katherine Riles, Donna's mother. The family said Riles' 12-year-old daughter, Miranda, found her mother's body that night.

Police said they responded to a shots-fired call at 112 W. Mosier St. and found Riles dead inside her home.

Shortly after, Oklahoma City police arrested Tony Benae Smith, 26. Smith was driving Riles' car and had what police described as a large caliber handgun in his possession. According to Katherine, Smith had been at Donna's house the night of the murder.

Riles and Smith had met through an online dating service and were involved, said the family. Riles' sister, Tammy Johnson, said she felt something was wrong with her sister's relationship from the beginning. 

"I told her I didn't like it," her sister said. "I just had a bad feeling, I really did. I was just scared. I mean so much stuff happens these days."

Josh Beasley, with the YWCA, warns that online chatters often pose as perfect, charming people/

"The best way to find out what's true and what isn't is to give time, the more time that's there, the more opportunities you have to hear those red flags, see the red flags, to find out the truth," he said.

If you decide to get together Beasley recommends:

  • meet in a public place,
  • tell your friends and family where you're going,
  • don't invite the person to your home, and
  • have someone call to check on you during the date.

"You have to be very careful and very cautious," he said.