San Mateo County has just seen another gruesome murder that sounds like a domestic violence incident, this time involving a woman being stabbed live on Facebook.
We had news of the stabbing in today's Morning Links, but now details are emerging in the case of a woman found fatally stabbed in an apartment complex in San Mateo. The first report of the stabbing went to the Sheriff's Office in Nye County, Nevada, where a woman said at 3:48 p.m. Wednesday that she had just seen a woman stabbed live on Facebook.
The San Mateo Police Department explains in a release, the woman gave authorities the name and cellphone number of the suspect, which were then used to "ping" the phone and locate it in an apartment complex on 36th and 37th avenues in San Mateo. San Mateo police, not knowing where exactly to look, commenced a door-to-door convassing of the complex, and ultimately landed on a unit on the 200 block of 36th Avenue, where they located the body of the deceased woman.
The suspect had fled the scene after filming the stabbing — or its aftermath — and posting it to Facebook. But San Mateo police identified Mark Mechikoff, 39, of Pacifica, and perhaps using that same cellphone data were able to make an arrest within two hours in San Jose. He's been booked on suspicion of homicide.
"Investigators were able to track the suspect’s whereabouts and located him in San Jose, where he was arrested without incident," police said. "The suspect, identified as Mark Mechikoff, had known the female victim."
The department adds, "While the motive for stabbing the victim is still under investigation, we do know Mechikoff mercilessly filmed the last moments of the victim’s life and posted the video to Facebook, then fled the area."
Update: The victim has been identified as Claribel Estrella.
While this hasn't been characterized yet as a domestic violence incident, it certainly sounds like one. And in terms of gruesomeness, it falls only slightly short of a beheading case that took place in nearby San Carlos last September. In that case, a 33-year-old Hayward man was charged with the murder of a former girlfriend using a sword, nearly fully detaching her head outside a San Carlos apartment where she lived with two children.
Anyone with information or security footage related to Wednesday's homicide should contact Detective Sergeant Dave Manion at (650) 522-7660 or [email protected]. Anonymous tips can be submitted to http://tinyurl.com/SMPDTips or by calling (650) 522-7676.