NEW YORK (Associated Press) — Two prostitutes were assaulted and robbed in hotel rooms by a man responding to their online ads, and police on Friday were looking for two suspects.
One woman was slashed in the hand and the other was choked unconscious in the separate attacks last week at the Roosevelt and Wellington hotels in midtown Manhattan.
A 24-year-old who advertised on the classifieds site backpage.com was robbed of her cash and phone on April 30. She was sliced in the hand and treated at a hospital, police said.
The second woman, who is 30 years old and advertised on Craigslist, was at the Roosevelt Hotel at about noon on May 1. Police said the suspect brandished a knife and she struggled with him, until she was choked unconscious and then awoke to discover her money, a phone and a laptop were missing. She didn't request medical attention.
Police said the suspects were of similar height and build and were asking anyone with information on their whereabouts to call the New York Police Department's Crime Stoppers hot line, (800) 577-TIPS.
The cases are not believed to be related to slayings of four escorts who advertised online. Their bodies were found along a desolate stretch of barrier island on Long Island. Six other sets of human remains have been found in recent searches, raising fears of a serial killer.
Fifty officers from various departments including state police returned to the area earlier this week to search for additional clues or remains but found no additional bodies in the dense brush along a mile-long stretch of the Robert Moses Causeway on Long Island.
The investigation by Long Island authorities began as a hunt for a missing New Jersey prostitute Shannan Gilbert, last seen a year ago. She has not been found.