Police used murder victim's FitBit to track her movements

  • Police used murder victim's FitBit to track her movements

Police used murder victim's FitBit to track her movements

A murdered woman's FitBit data led CT police to arrest her husband in connection with the death, the Hartford Courant reports.

On December 23rd, 2015, Connie Dabate was shot dead in her Ellington, Connecticut home with a gun owned by her husband, Richard.

Craig Stedman, the CT district attorney, said that using a FitBit to investigate crime was unusual - but that the device could provide solid evidence. The police have since charged Richard Dabate with murder, tampering with evidence, and providing a false statement.

Police said he initially told them he had just returned home at around 9am after dropping off his two sons when he was attacked by a home intruder. He claimed he saw a tall, stocky man in a camouflage suit and a mask.

While some might claim the Fitbit tracker recorded life signs from the wife as she lay dying on the floor, investigators said the FitBit data showed the wife walked 1,217 feet all around the house between 9:23 AM and 10:05 AM, when her last activity was recorded. This was followed at 09:18 with a search for the schedule of the Indian Valley YMCA, where Connie Dabate was attending a class - hence the Fitbit. Data on her Fitbit indicated she left for her class at about 8:46 a.m., records show. The distance from her vehicle to the location she died is "no more than 125ft", according to police documents.

Fitbit appears to be more than just a useful gadget to help meet health goals; it's become a crime-fighting tool and helped police crack some troubling cases.

Among other evidence that's emerged is a 2014 note entitled "Why I want a divorce" found on Connie's phone and the discovery that Dabate had a girlfriend who was pregnant.

He was reportedly having an affair for seven years with an unidentified woman, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the murder. Dabate claimed he confronted an intruder after returning home at about 9 a.m., and his wife returned home during the confrontation.

She also posted videos on her Facebook page from her home IP address between 9.40am and 9.46am, after she had supposedly struggled with an intruder and been shot dead.

The panic alarm was hit at 10.11am - the only time alarms sounded at the home. His lawyer told the Hartford Courant that his client maintains his innocence. He is expected to enter a plea during his next appearance in court on April 27.