NETFLIX true crime documentary Why Did You Kill Me? explores the murder of Crystal Theobald and her mother’s fight for justice.
The film touches on William Sotelo’s role in the death of Theobald and how a surprising discovery led to his arrest.
Where is William Sotelo now?
William Sotelo, 32, has been sitting in prison after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the death of Crystal Theobald in 2006.
He was sentenced to 22 years for driving the car the night of her death.
Sotelo was initially facing first-degree murder charges but reached a deal with prosecution before the trial began.
What role did William Sotelo have in Crystal Theobald's death?
Sotelo was a member of a California gang who had been shot at by another gang on February 24, 2006.
The gang was seeking to retaliate for the shooting that night and drove up to Theobald’s car thinking it was the rival gang’s vehicle.
Sotelo’s pal Julio Heredia shot Theobald in the head and she died two days later at the hospital.
Her boyfriend was also in the vehicle but he survived.
Neither of them had any ties to a gang, according to police.
Heredia was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
10 other defendants had also pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, from witness intimidation to attempted murder to gun and gang charges
When was William Sotelo arrested?
After the crime, Sotelo was flagged by police as a potential suspect but was not arrested.
Theobald’s mother, Belinda Lane went undercover on MySpace and catfished Sotelo with a fake profile.
She enlisted the help of her niece and created a profile page for a woman named Angel and used Theobald’s pictures to lure Sotelo in.
As Sotelo began falling for Angel, he disclosed more information about him and his life thinking he was building a connection with her.
However, Lane and her niece were just playing detective and trying to gather a case against Sotelo to solve the mystery of her daughter’s death.
Together they discovered which cars the gang members drove and where they lived, and even drove past their houses to take pictures of the vehicles.
Lane ended up revealing her identity on MySpace to Sotelo and he immediately went off the grid.
A Facebook tip given to Lane claimed that Sotelo had fled the US.
He was found in Mexico, living with a wife and four children and was arrested by police in 2016.
Sotelo was sentenced in 2020 for the death of Theobald.
At the time, Riverside Police Lt. Christian Dinco told The Washington Post: “Belinda was very instrumental, working on social media to help us identify where he might be.
“She provided important information that helped lead us to the capture of William Sotelo. Without her help, he would likely still be outstanding right now.”
Where can I watch Why Did You Kill Me?
The documentary premiered exclusively on Netflix on April 14, 2021.
It is available to stream on the site with a paid subscription.
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