Bay Area man fatally stabbed woman and posted video of it on Facebook, police say

28 July 2023

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A man allegedly stabbed a woman to death in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday and then posted a video of the slaying to Facebook, authorities said.

The gruesome footage helped police track down the suspect, who was later identified as 39-year old Mark Mechikoff. He was arrested about 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) south of where the victim was found dead in a San Mateo apartment complex.

“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,” San Mateo police said in a statement.

Prosecutors identified the victim as Claribel Estrella. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office plans to file a case against Mechikoff Friday and charge him with a single count of murder with an enhancement for use of a knife.

His arraignment is scheduled for Friday afternoon, where an attorney will be appointed to represent him, DA Stephen Wagstaffe said in an email.

The stabbing was first reported to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada when a caller said she saw the video on Facebook. The sheriff’s office “pinged” the phone number associated with the Facebook page and traced it to a large San Mateo apartment complex.

Officers there went door-to-door and found Estrella nearly three hours later inside a unit, authorities said. Police say Mechikoff knew her but have not described how.

Mechikoff was arrested two hours later on suspicion of homicide in the city of San Jose.

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