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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    CA - Crystal Theobald, 24, shot to death, Riverside, 24 Feb 2006

    RIVERSIDE – A 24-year-old Riverside gang member sentenced to life in prison in the 2006 slaying of a young woman was caught in part by the victim’s cyber-sleuth mother, who set up fake MySpace accounts to generate leads, it was reported today.

    Julio Heredia was convicted of fatally shooting Crystal Theobald, a 24- year-old mother of two as she rode in car in her Arlanza neighborhood, The Press-Enterprise reported.

    Theobald’s mother, Belinda Lane, was in a car in front of her daughter when someone got out of a white sport utility vehicle and opened fire at the car her daughter was in. The driver also was shot but survived.

    ”We were given information by various sources, so we created a couple of bogus profiles on MySpace,” she told the newspaper.

    She set up one account using a photo Crystal under the name of ”Angel.” Another was for a nonexistent ”Rebecca.”

    Both were aimed at drawing out members of Varrio 5150 who were suspected in Theobald’s shooting.

    Using a photo of an attractive young woman, Lane struck up an online friendship with a man who said he knew some of the people involved in her daughter’s shooting.

    Lane, 53, operating as ”Rebecca,” adopted some street slang and made contact with William Sotelo, a suspect still at large in the case.

    In one exchange, Sotelo revealed that he drove a Ford Expedition, matching the one used in the shooting. At the same time, ”Angel” started promoting a phony ”End of the World Party” for June 6, 2006. But she went to police with the information she had gathered before the supposed party. Information pulled from Sotelo was key in helping detectives identify the suspects, Riverside police Detective Rick Wheeler told the newspaper.

    Sotelo was questioned but not arrested, then disappeared.

    On June 5, Lane ended her online role playing by posting on ”Angel’s” page the question: ”Why did you …. murder me?”

    Eventually, 10 defendants were charged in Theobald’s Feb. 24, 2006, death. All have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from witness intimidation to attempted murder. Sentences ranged from probation to 18 years in prison.

    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    East Tennessee
    Excellent story! Thanks for posting! It shows how one person or group outside LE can work to help close a heinous crime against a loved one. ID Discovery has an intermittent series about cases like this. They were all only possible when the public had access to the internet.
    "If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
    - John Irving in A Prayer for Owen Meany

    Unless I provide a link or refer to a specific link, all my ramblings are theories, speculation, scenarios based on what info is available and my own unique life experiences.

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