Prosecutors: GPS ankle monitor put Sotka at scene of Green Bay murders

Police used his vehicle’s onboard data system to locate him in Arkansas, a criminal complaint says
Richard Sotka is identified in court documents as a person of interest in the women's murders, but investigators say he's now their suspect.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:46 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:54 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A criminal complaint identifies a person of interest in the killings of two women in Green Bay as Richard W. Sotka, 48.

Action 2 News obtained court documents filed Monday regarding charges of criminal damage to property and bail jumping against Sotka in Brown County. The documents state that police “gained information” that Sotka was a person of interest in Sunday’s double homicide at a duplex in the 1600 block of Elkay Lane in Green Bay.

Officers found the bodies of a 58-year-old Green Bay woman and a 53-year-old Bellevue woman at the residence. Their names have not been released.

Sotka has not been charged with the killings of the women. He was arrested Sunday afternoon in Arkansas where he’s being held in jail.

The criminal complaint filed Monday says investigators found Sotka had open cases out of Oconto County and an active restraining order against him. One of the cases is for stalking. Part of the bond conditions in the Oconto County stalking case includes wearing an electronic monitoring device that confirms Sotka’s location. He was being monitored by a company called ADL Monitoring Solutions.

ADL pulled up GPS location records for Sotka and found that the device had been cut off and last pinged on the exit from Highway 41 southbound and the Freedom Road off-ramp in De Pere. Investigators found the device in a ditch and collected it as evidence.

Officers were able to track Sotka through the onboard data system on his vehicle. They informed authorities that Sotka was in Arkansas. He was arrested during a traffic stop and taken to Mississippi County Detention Center.

Green Bay detectives traveled to Arkansas to interview Sotka at the jail. No information has been released regarding their discussion.

Officers say GPS data placed Sotka at the scene of the Green Bay double homicide at 1657 Elkay Lane at about 2:35 a.m. Sunday. His bracelet was cut off at about 2:54 a.m.

“Richard Sotka admitted to investigators he recalled ‘chucking’ or ‘throwing’ the bracelet out the window of a truck but did not recall where,’” reads the criminal complaint.

On Sunday, at about 11:15 a.m., a friend of the women killed in Green Bay went to the house on Elkay Lane and “noticed what she thought was a suspicious death or someone that was in need of emergency services, backed out, and called 911 and waited for police to arrive.”

Police believe the unnamed suspect knew at least one of the victims and may have spent some time at the Elkay Lane home, though detectives said it was not a “permanent residence” for him.

Detectives said the women who were killed in Green Bay were friends, or at least known to each other.

Action 2 News has obtained the criminal complaint filed against Sotka in Oconto County for stalking, bail jumping, and violating a restraining order.

In 2022, officers received reports that Sotka had threatened to kill an ex-girlfriend and her family. Sotka had been spotted driving past the woman’s home and photographing her new boyfriend.

A witness stated Sotka had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend by “sneaking in the woods near the home and using a rifle.” He had also mentioned using a bow “because it was quieter,” according to the witness.

Sotka was a felon and had asked to borrow the witness’s handgun. The witness also alleged Sotka wanted her to do a straw gun purchase for him.

Text messages showed Sotka trying to convince the witness to drop off the handgun at his house “so he can familiarize himself with it.” The witness stated he believed he wanted to use it to kill his ex-girlfriend.

The witness said Sotka also had a complaint open in Marinette County for allegedly assaulting his nephew.

The witness also stated that Sotka had tried to get her to poison her mother on Thanksgiving “by putting rat poison in the food.” The witness showed investigators a text from Sotka with a picture of the poison.

In March of 2022, Sotka entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the stalking case.

In May, he was released after posting a $10,750 bond. Conditions of bond include absolute sobriety, no contact with the victim, and an electronic monitoring bracelet.