DALLAS, TX (St.George News, AP) – A Utah man sentenced last week in a Dallas, TX courtroom for the rape and murder of his sister-in-law in 1996 was found through a Facebook connection, according to St. George News.

40-year-old Victor Serrano pleaded guilty to murder in the death of his brother’s wife Manuela Dominguez who was found by her husband, Manuel Serrano dead in their bed next to her 6-month-old daughter who was sleeping in a playpen. 

Manuel Serrano told police at the time his brother was the only other person with a key and a neighbor told police she saw Victor Serrano leaving the apartment that morning. 

DNA evidence ruled out the husband but also identified that the suspect was most likely a relative. While Victor Serrano was a suspect, it was believed he fled to Mexico after being questioned by police.

The victim’s daughter, Daisy Serrano-Dominguez, now 23, was not told about her mother’s death until she was 10 and believed her stepmom was her biological mother. 

In 2016, a long-lost cousin, Dulce Dominguez knew of the story and turned to Facebook in an attempt to find her cousin. She found her, and after meeting up a couple days later, the two went to police and asked them to re-open the case. 

Through the use of social media, detectives were able to track down the Serrano family and a man by the name of Juan Serrano-Reyes, which turned out to be an alias for Victor Serrano with a matching birth date.

He was located by federal authorities and arrested in Utah in May 2017. 

Victor Serrano told police he did not mean to hurt Manuela Dominguez but would not give a reason to the victims daughter when she asked him during sentencing. 

He was sentenced to 30-years in prison after arranging a plea deal that reduced the original charge of capitol murder to murder.