Life Sentences for Three Family Members in Cyberstalking Case

“After surviving a rocky divorce and custody dispute in 2007, all Christine Belford wanted was to settle back into a peaceful life with her three young daughters in her Delaware home.

Instead, her ex-husband, David T. Matusiewicz, and several members of his family stalked, harassed, and intimidated Belford for years leading up to her murder at a federal courthouse in Wilmington on February 11, 2013. The ensuing investigation, conducted by the FBI and the Delaware State Police, resulted in the first-ever convictions on charges of cyberstalking resulting in death, a violation contained in the federal Violence Against Women Act.

During their investigation, agents and detectives learned that David Matusiewicz hatched the plot to stalk and harass his ex-wife while in prison for kidnapping Belford’s children in 2007, when the couple was going through divorce proceedings. The Delaware optometrist enlisted the help of his mother, father, and sister, who waged an elaborate, years-long, online campaign against Christine Belford, alleging she endangered the lives of the daughters she had with Matusiewicz.

“Through our investigation, we discovered that the Matusiewicz family had a network of supporters helping them uncover information about Christine’s life,” said Special Agent Joseph Gordon, who investigated the case out of the Baltimore Field Office’s Wilmington Resident Agency. “They were convinced by the family’s claims that she was a child abuser, but they didn’t know the family’s real intent.”

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