Facebook Cad Uses Dead Soldier's Picture to Dupe Women

Phony soldier claims national security to avoid telling women his location.

Jan. 12, 2011— -- For more than a year, the ruggedly handsome soldier Dylan Sorvino wooed women on Facebook from near and far -- often from war zones where he cited "national security" as a reason for not revealing his travel schedule.

Sorvino said he was a New Yorker who had studied law then became an Army soldier so he could fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. He engaged women in online poker games and invited them on dates after his deployments ? for which he never showed.

The women fell for him, his stories and his gorgeous looks which they later learned were a complete lie. It turns out that "Dylan Sorvino" was a composite character created by a Facebook fraud who used a dead Army soldier's photograph to connect with women on the social network.

In reality, the handsome man in the photos is deceased Army Ranger Sgt. Roberto Sanchez. Sanchez was killed at age 24 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan while on his fifth deployment on Oct. 1, 2009.

Sanchez' mother, Wendy Holland, was devastated when she learned of the deception.

Holland was contacted last week by one of the women duped by the online lothario. By chance, the woman was looking on a website for information about her friend who was also a deceased soldier when she spotted the image of Sanchez who she had thought was Sorvino.

It's difficult enough for a mother to lose a son, Holland said, but the fact that someone would steal her son's identity, especially when he cannot defend himself, is unconscionable.

"He went looking for a soldier that passed. That's what hurts me the most," Holland said to ABC News about "Dylan Sorvino." "He wanted to find a picture of someone who he knew couldn't come after him."

Sanchez had joined the military in 2004 after completing his first year of college. He was killed on his first deployment after reenlisting.

"He died for a cause that he believed in. And this guy chooses to pretend he's a soldier. How [can] someone portray someone who died for our country? No one should ever uses anyone's identity, but I wouldn't be so angry if he hadn't gone searching for a fallen soldier."

Facebook Cad Uses Dead Soldier's Picture to Dupe Women

One of the women who fell for Sorvino is Carolyn Hinz, 37, a Minnesota divorcee.

"Tomorrow night is my crew's last Iraqi patrol and we start packing up," Sorvino wrote to her in an Oct. 11 e-mail obtained by the New York Post. "I've been warned by command not to discuss my departure due to national security so we have to keep this talk to a minimum.

"I certainly wasn't prepared for you, you're [sic] gorgeous smile, your wit and you're [sic] ability to make me miss someone I've never met. How ironic, I had to travel 8,000 miles, go to war to meet this girl."

Hinz told the New York Post that she was a "sucker" for the cute face.

"It was a very cute face. Too bad it was someone else's face," she said. "He had all these plans of getting dinner, going to the movies, going dancing," she remembered. "I was really excited. The guy was good -- he blew my mind."

Shortly after Holland and her family and friends, including Sanchez' Ranger pals, learned of the fraud, they wrote angry letters and warned the women of what was happening. The Dylan Sorvino profile was quickly removed.

"I don't believe he is a soldier. There's nutty soldiers out there. But there's one line you don't cross: a fallen soldier," Holland said. "I think he's some weirdo that sits behind a computer. I think he's a 40-year-old man who lives in his life on a computer. I think he's some twisted individual."