A well-known bitcoin trader and his friend have been accused of murdering Tomi Masters. The media has characterized Masters as a small-town girl who fell into the hands of malicious bitcoin traders working in the Philippines.
CCTV cameras spotted her boyfriend, Troy Woody, 21, and his friend, Mir Islam, 22, loading a large plastic bag into the back of a taxi hailed by rideshare app, Grab, outside a condo in Mandaluyong City. The driver found their behavior suspicious and reported them to police. Shortly thereafter, the police discovered Masters’ body in the Pasig River. Her body was covered in scratches and the cause of death was suffocation by plastic bag.
It is unclear what Woody and Islam were working on in the Philippines, but friends have been telling local papers that Tomi Masters recently wanted to leave the Philippines and go home to Indiana. Islam believed Woody would follow her home essentially sabotaging whatever plans the two were working on together.
Since news of the murder broke, Islam’s troubling criminal history has been exposed. Islam pleaded guilty in July 2015 to three federal charges related to doxing, swatting, cyberstalking, and making a bogus bomb threat. Prosecutors had alleged that Islam and his accomplices posted the personal information of at least 50 stars, as well as federal and state officials, on public websites. (Krebs reported that he was a victim of one of these swatting attacks.) Islam, who went by the handle “Josh the God,” also was accused of using a 911 internet relay system to make a bogus report that a shooter was attacking people on an Arizona university campus, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Besides trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Troy is also believed to be a core member of online mischief-making group UGNazi alongside Islam. Woody is relatively high-profile in the cryptocurrency world. He has broadcast many of his successful trades across his Twitter and his Instagram account showcases luxury watches and vehicles. There are reports that Woody catfished Masters into meeting with him and tricking her into flying to the Phillipines in the first place.
In regards to the case, Superintendent Igmedio Bernaldez, who has been overseeing the case issued a statement.
“We have yet to establish the motive. The three were here on vacation. If you ask the boyfriend, he will point to his friend as the killer. But if you ask the other suspect, he will say it was his friend who killed her. They are being questioned and the home they were staying at is being searched for evidence.”