LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- Social networking has become very popular in Nigeria over the past few years. But the country is reeling after a university student was allegedly murdered by two of her facebook "friends."
She was a grad student, a model, and owned a fashion boutique outside Nigeria's capital Abuja. In July, she traveled to Lagos to buy new stock from a man she met and "friended" on Facebook. His name was Echezona Nwabufor. His cousin, Ezekiel Eloka, also friended Cynthia and soon, they were all chatting.
They told Cynthia they had connections and could help her access material for her clothing line for less than what she was paying in Abuja. They offered to pay for her plant ticket to Lagos and to put her up in a fancy hotel.
But they had other intentions. Cynthia was drugged and beaten. Umar A. Manko, Commissioner of Police in Lagos says, "They used tape to block her mouth, they used some chains to tie her and she might have struggled and then they strangled her to death, yes."
Cynthia came from a military family. To the killers, that meant she was wealthy says investigating officer, area commander Dan Okoro. He says, "Unknown to her she was chatting with a fraudist. A criminal who wanted to know more of her and to leverage on the knowledge of her to be able to rob her."
The night of the 22, Okoro says the killers offered Cynthia a drink laced with a sedative. He says, "So they mix this pill with water and they put it in a syringe and put it into this. And put it in there and gave her this. She drank about two of this."
Okoro says Cynthia may have realized what the killers had in mind. Okoro says, "Knowing that she is going to scream, they decided to start putting pressure on her. And that is why they had to manhandle her. Yes, they had to put a kind of force to bring her down to submission."
The next morning, closed circuit TV caught the killer leaving. Once Cynthia was identified, Okoro traced her Facebook and Blackberry activity and began matching up her connections to cell phone records.
Three weeks later, the two suspects were under arrest. They're now in jail awaiting trial charged with conspiracy, robbery, and murder. One of the suspects says they started beating her to subdue her so they could rob her. They say she fainted and died. They says they did not intend to kill her.
Cynthia's death shocked Nigeria. Internet use here has exploded and Cynthia has become a symbol of the dark side of the web and social media. Manko says, "It is just unfortunate that through that social network, that young girl had to die. I think Nigerian parents and parents all over the world must begin to take interest in whom their children talk to on these social networks. I think it's very necessary."
Her brother tells CNN that he hopes Cynthia's death will serve as an eye-opener to young girls everywhere about what sometimes lurks in the vast world of social media.