Connecticut police have used a woman’s FitBit data to disprove her husband’s story and subsequently charge him in her murder.
On December 23, 2015, Richard Dabate returned to his home to pick up his laptop while his wife was at the gym according to an article by CNN.
This is Richard’s story: He was picking up the laptop he’d forgotten when he heard a noise upstairs sometime between 8:45 and 9 am. He went upstairs to investigate and came across an intruder dressed in camouflage. At that moment Connie Dabate returned home and the intruder fatally shot her. Richard claims that the intruder tied him up and attacked him with a blow torch. At some point Richard was able to turn the blow torch on the intruder until he ran off and that’s when Richard hit the house’s panic button and called 911 at 10:11 am.
But right away police realized that there were some red flags in Richard’s story.
Firstly they could not locate a suspect in the area. Second, there were no signs of forced entry. On top of that nothing was taken from the home and when the K-9 unit was brought in they could not detect any sign of someone else in the Dabate’s home.
Based on this information the police obtained warrants for the Dabate’s electronic devices including the couple’s cell phones, computers, house alarm data and Connie’s Fitbit. All of these devices told a very different story from the one Richard told the authorities.
The key piece of evidence: Connie’s Fitbit.
A fitbit is a wireless-enabled wearable device that measures a person’s fitness metrics, such as number of steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, etc.
Connie’s Fitbit registered movement at 9:23 a.m., the same time the garage door leading into the kitchen was opened, per the timeline of events laid out by CNN. Between that time and 10:05 a.m.—which is when all movement stopped—the Fitbit recorded Connie walking a total distance of 1,217 feet. However, the walk from Connie’s car to the basement, where the intruder allegedly shot her upon entrance, would be no more than 125 feet. According to data gathered from the device, Connie was moving around for nearly an hour after her husband said she was killed, according to court documents.
Facebook records also showed Connie Dabate posted three videos at 9:46 a.m. using her home IP address, and the alarm system records showed movements throughout the house that didn’t match Richard Dabate’s description of the attack, the warrant showed.
All in all, Richard’s story was not holding up—something the police quickly realized. After the discovery of his extramarital affair and impregnation, and his attempt to claim his late wife’s life insurance policy, Richard increasingly became a suspect.
Richard Dabate is currently out on a $1 million bond while facing charges that include murder, evidence tampering and making false statements to police in the shooting death of Connie Dabate.